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GS student charged with setting trash can fires

 A Georgia Southern University student was charged with arson Thursday after investigations led to evidence she set fire to trash cans on campus.

Jamya LeeAnn Cooper, 20, was arrested Thursday afternoon “following a week-long investigation into a series of fires in building trash cans on the Statesboro (GS) campus,” said Jennifer Wise, GS director of communications.

Cooper, a junior majoring in education, faces six counts of first-degree arson. According to Bulloch County Jail records, she was still in jail Friday afternoon, with a $25,000 bond.

“The first report of a fire came in on Nov. 5 just before 5 p.m. when officers responded to the Math/Physics building, where a trash can in a women's restroom was on fire,” Wise said. “The trash can had been pulled outside and extinguished with a fire extinguisher.”

Later the same day, police received another call about items that had been burned in two other trash cans in the same building. Additional calls for trash can fires in a women's restroom in the Math/Physics building came in on Nov. 14, Nov. 19 and Nov. 21, she said.

University police told Wise that “there were never any injuries reported, and there was never any danger to occupants of the building because the fires were extinguished quickly,” she said. “… Some trash cans were destroyed.”
Campus video cameras aided in Cooper’s arrest.

“Following Thursday’s fire, investigators confirmed through video surveillance footage that there appeared to be one person nearby when many of the fires were reported,” she said. “According to reports, when Cooper left class Thursday, officers stopped her, brought her back to the police station, interviewed her and then charged her with six counts of arson in the first degree.”
The Statesboro Fire Department and the university fire marshal assisted in the investigation, she said.

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