On January 6, 2020, around 6:45 AM, an employee at the Circle K, 6000 block of Highway 179, in the Village of Oak Creek, called YCSO to report his 2004 maroon min-van had been stolen. The victim left the van running unattended to warm up while he was concluding his shift. After about 15 minutes, the employee went outside and the van was gone. Deputies patrolled the immediate area but could not find the van at that time. By way of security video, it was last seen heading north on Highway 179 from the store.
Just before 8 AM, a YCSO deputy spotted the stolen van being driven through the parking lot of the Hillside Sedona Shopping Center in the 600 block of Highway 179. Assisted by an officer from the Sedona Police Department, the deputy stopped the van and detained the driver, 31-year-old MacKenzie Boswell from the Village of Oak Creek. During a search of Boswell, the deputy found nearly $300 in his pocket which was later determined stolen from the van and belonging to the victim. MacKenzie eventually admitted he stole the van.
The deputy noted that during contact with MacKenzie, he smelled like smoke.
Around 8 AM the same day, YCSO deputies were dispatched to the 100 block of Vista Mesa Drive in the Village of Oak Creek, regarding several small fires visible near a vacant home. Personnel from the Sedona Fire Department were on scene, had fires under control and investigating. Prior to the arrival of the fire department, neighbors worked to extinguish several fires.
Deputies saw multiple areas of grass, weeds and bushes that had been burned in and around a large pond. The vegetation was mostly dead and dry. It was determined the fires had been intentionally set likely with a propane torch found in the pond.
Deputies canvassed the area for witness’ and found a neighbor who had contact with a man named MacKenzie Boswell the previous evening. Boswell had come to his door asking for food and told the neighbor he was just out of rehab and staying in a barn next door. This barn is on the property where the fires occurred.
The deputy who booked Boswell into the Camp Verde Jail, met with the deputies on the arson investigation and indicated Boswell was in-custody, smelled like smoke, and possessed a cigarette lighter, matches, a label from a fireworks package, and gloves. It was learned that the gloves were stolen from a neighbor on Vista Mesa Drive along with a flashlight recovered from the stolen van. The propane torch had also been stolen from a neighbor.
At this point, Boswell refused to answer further question regarding the arson.
Boswell’s charges include Vehicle Theft, Property Theft, Vandalism. Trespassing, and Unlawful Burning. He remains in-custody on a $5250 bond.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov