18-year-old faces arson, theft charges connected to burned barn, BMW in Ionia County
IONIA, Mich. —
An 18 year-old from Ionia, Michigan, is in jail on multiple charges in connection to an October barn fire that destroyed two stolen cars in Ionia County.
The Ionia County Sheriff's Office said Hunter Wagner is facing charges that include arson and larceny.
Last fall, deputies were dispatched to a small barn fire in the 4,000 block of Smokey Row in Ionia Township.
The barn was destroyed, and inside the structure investigators found a BMW motorcycle, reported stolen to the Ionia Department of Public Safety, and a Ford F-150 pick-up truck reported stolen from Sunfield, Michigan, to the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office.
With the Assistance of the Michigan State Police Fire Investigation Unit and the Ionia Department of Public Safety, accelerants were located in the fire debris and the fire was determined to be arson.
Investigators say Wagner also is under investigation for a series of vehicle thefts from Ventra Automotive in Ionia.
While investigating a series of stolen vehicles and larcenies from other vehicles at the Ventra factory on Beardsley Road in January, in collaboration with the Ionia Department of Public Safety, the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office identified Wagner as a possible suspect in the case. Wagner was arrested Jan. 14, 2018, on unrelated charges.
During subsequent interviews, Ionia County Sheriff’s deputies said they found evidence linking Wagner to multiple vehicle thefts from Ventra Automotive; the vehicles were later found burned in various locations in the county.
Wagner also is under investigation regarding several stolen vehicles in and around the city of Ionia.
Wagner is currently lodged at the Ionia County Jail, and has been arraigned on multiple counts of motor vehicle theft, two counts of arson, multiple counts of larceny from a motor vehicle, and two counts of malicious destruction of private property. His bond was set at $25,000.
The Ionia County Sheriff’s Office, Ionia Department of Public Safety, and the Michigan State Police Fire Investigation Unit were involved in the investigation.