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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

$ 50,000 Bond Set for Downers Grove Man Accused of Residential Arson

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin and Downers Grove Police Chief Shanon Gillette announced today that bond has been set for a Downers Grove man accused of setting fire to his house last month. Robert Clauser, 52 (d.o.b. 4/5/1967) formerly of 1728 Virginia Street, appeared at a bond hearing this morning where Judge Jeffrey MacKay set bond at $50,000 with 10% to apply.  Clauser has been charged with one count of Residential Arson, a Class 1 Felony.    

On December 20, 2019, at approximately 7:03 a.m., the Downers Grove Police and Fire Departments responded to a residential fire located at 1728 Virginia Street. Upon their arrival, officials found the home fully engulfed in fire. An investigation into the fire found that gas cans had been placed around the interior of the home along with propane tanks and many items of combustible material on the kitchen table. The investigation led to the occupant of the house, Clauser as the individual who started the fire. On January 4, 2020, a $100,000 arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Clauser. He was taken into custody on January 6, 2020.

 “It is alleged that in the early morning hours of December 20, 2019, Mr. Clauser intentionally set fire to his residence,” Berlin said. “Thankfully, no one was injured, and the fire was contained to Mr. Clauser’s residence and did not cause any damage to neighboring homes. I would like to thank the Downers Grove Police and Fire Departments for their outstanding work in identifying the fire as intentional and for their work in identifying Mr. Clauser as the man who allegedly started the fire. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Alyssa Rabulinski and Lee Roupas for their efforts in preparing a strong case against this defendant.”

 “I would like to thank the members of the Downers Grove Police and Fire Departments for their work on this case,” Gillette said. “I would also like to thank the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office and the many public safety partner agencies that assisted us throughout this investigation.”

Clauser’s next court appearance is scheduled for January 9, 2020 in front of Judge MacKay.          

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

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