Man steals dead pet, lights it on fire

Handcuffs. (Photo Source: Unsplash).

A homeless man was arrested last Friday after he stole a dead pet from a residence and used lighter fluid to set it on fire, according to a City of Cortland Police report.

According to the report, Devon R. Lane, 26 of Cortland, entered a home on West Main Street, unannounced, in the afternoon of June 3. Lane proceeded to steal food and “went through cabinets in the residence,” the report states.

City detective lieutenant Dan Edwards told The Cortland Voice Wednesday morning that the residents of the home, who were upstairs at the time of Lane’s presence inside, were unaware that Lane was in the house.

Neighbors attempted to contact the residents. However, once the neighbors got a hold of them, the residents didn’t see Lane in the house, Edwards said.

“They never heard or confronted (Lane),” Edwards added.

In the midst of stealing food from the residence, Lane took a bag out of the freezer that “contained a dead pet” that was “being preserved for burial,” the report states. 

Lane proceeded to take the bag containing the dead pet, poured lighter fluid on it and “lit it on fire on the front porch of the residence,” the report notes. Edwards said that Lane had the lighter fluid in his possession, but was unsure where exactly Lane got it from.

The report noted that city police located and stopped Lane “a short distance away” on Vanhoesen Street, where he was arrested “without incident.”

Lane has been charged with second-degree burglary (a Class C Felony); criminal mischief, fifth-degree arson, second-degree reckless endangerment and petit larceny (all misdemeanors).

Lane was arraigned and is currently being held at the Cortland County Jail with no bail. Edwards noted that Lane has prior felony charges on his record, which is the reason behind him being remanded without bail.

Edwards mentioned that Lane was also arrested earlier in the day on June 3, but noted it was “for an (undisclosed) mental health issue.”