On the day David Valencia breaks ground on a rebuilt business comes news that the person who burned his Rifle gas station to the ground has been caught.
46–year–old Robin Jay Clifton was arrested this morning for the Labor Day 2005 arson of Valencia's gas station, the Fireside bowling alley, and a town home in Rifle. The three fires caused at least $1.5 million dollars in damages to the two businesses.
Clifton is also charged with an arson count for a failed attempt to burn down a local bar. Rifle Police Chief Daryl Meisner says it took the efforts of numerous agencies to target Clifton as the suspect, and tips from citizens also helped.
Clifton faces four counts each of arson and criminal mischief,
three counts of burglary, and one count of evidence tampering. Although damages at the town home fire were minimal, Clifton is charged with one count of attempted manslaughter because adjacent homes were occupied at the time the fires were set.
Bond was set at one–hundred thousand dollars.
If convicted on all counts Clifton could face a maximum of 225 years in prison.