MESA, Arizona. – The police in the city of Mesa near Phoenix say a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and criminal damage, for allegedly burning the city of $ 40,000 christmas tree.
The almost four-story high tree is the focal point of the Mesa, the annual christmas celebration.
It was destroyed by a fire early Wednesday that police say was intentional.
Police say the 34-year-old Samuel Antone Johnson was found in the vicinity and allegedly admitted to setting the “Merry Largest christmas tree” in fire and flame with a book of matches. Police say the man has no information about a motive.
Johnson has been booked into the jail on two felonies. It is unclear whether he has a lawyer yet.
City officials say they are trying to quickly find a replacement tree to establish for the rest of the holiday season.