Federal judge sentences Menasha man for gas station arson
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Menasha man was sentenced to 7 years in prison for setting a gas station in Neenah on fire in January.
The Ridgeway VP Phillips 66 station was heavily damaged by fire early in the morning on Friday, January 21 (see related story). Investigators determined cash, cigarettes and liquor were stolen before the fire was set. Federal prosecutors say many of the stolen items were found in a search of Crawford’s home. It’s a federal crime to set a fire to damage or destroy property used in interstate commerce.
Christian Crawford, who turns 29 this week, was also ordered to spend 3 years on supervised release and pay $793,000 in restitution.
Crawford was arrested about two weeks after the Phillips 66 fire, on February 5, on multiple counts of bail jumping from pending felony cases. During a routine traffic stop, an officer smelled marijuana from the car and found Crawford was driving on a suspended license. A search of the car yielded drugs, burglary tools and an AR-style BB gun. Crawford spent 5 days in jail.
Crawford was arrested again on February 15. When someone tried to break into a bar, the lone employee locked herself in the bathroom and called police. Officers were investigating a gas station break-in nearby, so they were on the scene quickly and caught Crawford after a foot chase (see related story). Police obtained a search warrant for Crawford’s home and found evidence linking him to numerous burglaries.
Online court records indicate Crawford has three separate appearances scheduled in Winnebago County court over the next two weeks in separate cases involving burglary, theft of movable property, taking a vehicle without consent, fraudulent use of a financial card, and bail jumping.
Copyright 2021 WBAY. All rights reserved.