COVINGTON-- A woman has been charged with arson in connection with setting the woods on fire near Alcovy Road on Sunday afternoon.
Alecia Jackson, 28, who was booked into the Newton County Detention Center with an address of 103 Long Street Circle, Oxford, has been charged with arson in the third degree and setting fire to woodlands, according to Covington Fire Department Capt. Tony Smith.
Several eyewitnesses saw Jackson start the fire Sunday around 2 p.m. near the Shell service station on Alcovy Road and the intersection with Interstate 20, according to authorities.
"I think our response time was about 30 seconds," said Smith. CFD Fire Station No. 2 is less than a half mile from the scene.
Jackson was apprehended by the Covington Police Department as she walked toward I-20. According to a CPD incident report, she told the arresting officer she was fine and that she started the fire "because she wanted to see something burn."
Smith said Jackson used an accelerant and lit the fire with a cigarette lighter.
"We put it out with ease. Of course, if it had happened at 2 a.m. instead of when it did and there were no witnesses, it definitely would have burned a lot more," he said.
Smith said it is unusual for an arsonist to be a woman.
"Arson is generally a white male in his mid-30s," he said, adding that women who commit arson usually have an emotional motive such as a woman who finds her husband cheating and sets all his clothes on fire. "Women just don't normally go around and set fires for enjoyment."
Smith said Jackson told investigators she was "bouncing around from shelter to shelter" and it seemed the incident was triggered because she is troubled.
In other crime news, the CPD is looking into a report by Papa John's Pizza that a woman wearing a Fulton County Sheriff's Office uniform left their drive-thru without paying for $34.50 worth of food.
According to the manager of the restaurant, the woman came to pick up the food Friday night around 8 p.m. and presented her debit card as payment. The card was rejected three times, but because of the uniform she was wearing, the cashier allowed her the courtesy of pulling around to a parking space and coming in to pay for her food.
Instead she drove out of the parking lot with the food, leaving her debit card behind.
The restaurant manager said all attempts to contact her through a phone number she gave when she placed the order went to voice mail.
Also, the S&S Package Store on Monticello Street was burglarized Saturday around 2 a.m. when someone threw a rock through a large window, knocking the security camera to the floor.
The burglar alarm sounded and police arrived shortly thereafter. According to a CPD incident report, blood and human hair were located on a jagged piece of glass.
The owner was called to the scene, but was unsure if anything had been taken.