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DL man charged with first-degree arson

Anthony Mark Vogt, 53, of rural Detroit Lakes has been charged in Becker County District Court with felony first-degree arson.

According to court records, at 6:52 p.m. on Sept. 1, a sheriff's sergeant responded to a house fire in rural Becker County. Upon arrival, he noted a large amount of smoke coming from the house, but no flames. A citizen who had called 911 said they were driving by and saw the smoke coming from the mobile home. They pulled up, saw two windows were broken out, and called 911.

The sheriff's officer walked around the house and noted all the other windows and doors were secure, and the two broken windows had their screen cuts and appeared to have been broken from the outside. He found a white tissue on the ground under a broken window, next to a stepladder.

Nothing appeared disturbed inside the residence, other than fire damage. He noted that a piece of comforter on fire in a bedroom had gone out by itself. Since arson was suspected, the state fire marshal's office was called in.

A sheriff's investigator learned that the owner of the home had recently broken up with Vogt and he was allegedly upset that she was dating someone else.

Vogt told a deputy on the phone that day that he was home all evening except once at 5:30 p.m., when he left to buy a pack of cigarettes at County Road 6 Tesoro.

The sheriff's investigator allegedly learned that Vogt had sent 114 text messages to the victim on Sept. 1. In several he said he was going to the victim's house.

A witness at Charlie's Bar at Height of Land Lake said Vogt was there from roughly 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. That was confirmed by surveillance video from Charlie's.

Cell-site data from Vogt's phone was analyzed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and allegedly showed that Vogt was in the vicinity of the victim's home twice that day, at about 2:44 p.m. and again at 6:39 p.m. The investigator noted that Charlie's Bar is less than three minutes away from the victim's residence. He also noted a 20-minute gap in Vogt's text messages to the victim, from 6:25 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

On Oct. 22, the state fire marshal's office reported the fire was intentionally set by somebody lighting multiple location in the mobile home, after breaking two windows.

On Oct. 24, Vogt appeared before District Judge Jay Carlson, who set cash bail at $1,000 or bond at $10,000, with conditions, or bond at $40,000 without standard conditions of release. Non-cash bond was posted the next day.

Vogt's next court appearance is Dec. 12 before District Judge Gretchen Thilmony.