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A Belle Plaine man has been charged with leaving a trail of destruction in Scott County, which included stealing a fire department vehicle and culminated with him breaking into a New Prague utilities building and start turning dials.

Charges against Dwayne Roach, 59, state that he traveled in a stolen fire department vehicle to the New Prague utilities building, which he entered and "walked up to a set of controls."

He turned these controls "all the way down" and then went to another set, which he turned all the way up.

"This could have resulted in the New Prague water tower overflowing," the complaint says, and sparked an alarm that alerted city workers.

This development was only uncovered after police had arrested Roach for a series of other destructive behaviors on Wednesday, May 4.

These include: 

  • Setting a barn on fire in Cedar Lake Township.
  • Driving a tractor he found in the barn into a house on the same property, smashing a fish house in the process.
  • Setting fire to that house as well.
  • Fleeing police while wearing a New Prague Fire Department jacket in a side-by-side, knocking over a bird house as he rushed to another barn.
  • Resisting arrest when officers tried to detain him.

Police found the New Prague Fire Department Ford Excursion at the same properties where the fires occurred. As he was being taken to custody, Roach allegedly said, unsolicited: "Yeah I stole that truck."

Police also found a small baggie of methamphetamine on Roach's person.

He's facing a series of charges including 1st- and 2nd-degree arson, two counts of burglary, damage to property, vehicle theft, and drug possession.

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