Chamberlain man charged with starting three dumpster fires after officers obtain video footage

Jan. 23—CHAMBERLAIN — A Chamberlain man is facing three felony charges for allegedly starting three dumpster fires in the community throughout December.

After responding to a series of dumpster fires that occurred at three locations in Chamberlain, local authorities obtained video footage of two of the incidents that led to one suspect being charged on Jan. 12. Authorities identified the suspect as 34-year-old Justin Belille.

Belille was charged with three counts of reckless burning or exploding, each a Class 4 felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. He was also charged with one count of intentional damage to property, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

According to an arrest affidavit, video footage showed Belille allegedly causing two dumpster fires in Chamberlain’s business district on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7. The pair of dumpster fires authorities investigated with the help of video footage were located in the alleyways near the 100 block of South Main Street and the 100 block of South Sanborn Street.

An officer who reviewed the video footage noticed a mannerism from the suspect that was described as “swinging a lanyard in a whipping-like fashion.” The affidavit explains the officer has “personally seen” Belille swinging a lanyard around that mimicked what was shown on the video of the two dumpster fires.

The video footage allegedly showed Belille, who was swinging his lanyard, starting the first dumpster fire in the alley near South Sanborn Street by taking a lighter to packed garbage placed in the dumpster, the affidavit said.

Footage of the South Main Street dumpster fire allegedly showed Belille placing something inside a dumpster and walking away. The dumpster began emitting smoke shortly after Belille placed something inside of it, according to the affidavit. Belille allegedly told officers he used a cigarette to start the fire.

When officers brought Belille in for questioning in early January, Belille allegedly admitted to starting another dumpster fire on Dec. 22 at the Chamberlain Elementary School.

Officers asked Belille why he starts fires. In response, Belille said, “To be a bad (expletive),” according to the affidavit. Belille told officers he has a history of starting fires, the affidavit said.

Belille is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Jan. 31. He is facing up to 30 years in prison and over $60,000 in fines. Belille posted a $2,000 cash bond following his arrest.

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