Arrest made in Rifle arson cases |

Arrest made in Rifle arson cases

The Rifle Police Department made an arrest today in connection with the Labor Day 2005 arson fires.

Robin Jay Clifton, 46, of Collbran, was arrested at the Garfield County Courthouse shortly before 9 a.m. He was at the courthouse on an unrelated charge.

Clifton, who is from Collbran, is facing multiple charges including four counts of first-degree arson, three counts of second-degree burglary, four counts of criminal mischief, one count of attempted manslaughter and one count of tampering with physical evidence. All the charges are felonies and could be punishable by more than 24 years in prison.

Bond has been set at $100,000 for Clifton. He is being advised this afternoon in District Court.

On Sept. 5, 2005, fires were set at the Rifle Amoco at the corner of Railroad Avenue and Highway 6, and at the Fireside Lanes bowling alley at the north end of Rifle on Highway 13. The Amoco was completely destroyed and the bowling alley was close to a total loss. Fires were also set at Meadow Court Townhomes and Mi Hacienda restaurant, but neither fire caught.

The total cost of damages is estimated at $1,569,117.

Clifton’s arrest was the result of a seven-month investigation involving Rifle PD, Garfield County Sheriff’s Department, Rifle Fire Protection District, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Grand Junction Fire Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Colorado State Patrol.

According to the arrest affidavit, Clifton has a long criminal history.

See tomorrow’s Post Independent for more details about the arrest, including comments from people impacted by the fires.

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