Man charged with burglarizing, trying to burn down neighbor's home

Changa Smith, 21, lived next door to victim

SAN ANTONIO – A man is accused of burglarizing and trying to burn down the house next door, authorities said.

Changa Smith, 21, faces attempted arson and burglary charges for the July 15 break-in, to which investigators say he confessed.

Two 911 callers reported a burglary July 15, saying two men were taking a television out of a house and fleeing in a green car. Police arrived to find the home in the 200 block of Hallie Pass on the far West Side ransacked and smelling like gasoline.

It was reported one of the suspects had taken off his mask and had dreads. Police detained Smith, who was seen walking away from the back of the house, because of how close he was to the crime and his hair, which matched that description.

Security video of the home showed two men in masks breaking in and gas being poured from the porch into the home, according to an arrest affidavit. While investigators couldn't identify Smith based on the video, the second man can be seen leaving with what looks like a Freddy Krueger mask on top of his head

Smith admitted to breaking into the house with the other man and stealing some things, according to the affidavit. He also said gas was poured in the house.

Smith also named his fellow suspect for investigators and described his home a few blocks away. While they didn't find the second man at that location, investigators said they did find a mask similar to the one they saw in the video.    

Though there wasn't any fire damage to the victim's home, the investigator wrote in the affidavit that both men had done "more than just mere preparation," even if they didn't finish the job.


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