Preventive detention motion filed against suspected serial arsonist | KOB 4

Preventive detention motion filed against suspected serial arsonist

Ryan Laughlin
Created: November 19, 2020 07:26 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A man suspected of lighting fires more than a dozen times in the past was scheduled to go before a judge Thursday, accused of causing thousands of dollars for another fire.

Anthony Tolbert is well-known in the downtown area. He has either been arrested or received a court summons 16 times this year. Multiple times he's been released because he has been determined not competent to stand trial.


"The guy is obviously a danger to society," said Sam Hebert, owner of German Precision.

Hebert said he's caught Tolbert trespassing at his business three times. The last time he said he caught him on camera lighting one of his cars on fire.

"The ink wasn't even dry. Ten minutes after they received the warrant they heard the call on the radio that he was on first and summer setting another fire. So, they just went immediately to pick him up," Hebert said.

Tolbert was arrested Wednesday and scheduled for his first felony appearance Thursday. He refused to appear, but prosecutors filed preventive detention motion. Court documents show Tolbert has 38 criminal cases filed against him the past four years, 18 of them are for arson.

"I'm just concerned he's going to go through the turnstile justice system again." Hebert said. "Tomorrow night, I'm going to have to be worried about, or maybe even tonight, I'm going to have to be worried about him coming back to my business again."

A district court judge will have to decide if Tolbert poses a danger to his community. He will remain locked up until then.

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