Man charged in connection to Shawnee arson and burglary

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OLATHE, Kan. -- A man was in court Wednesday accused of burglarizing a large Shawnee home and then setting it on fire.

Gabriel Davis, 34, has been charged with arson, burglary and felony theft for that incident back in September.

It has been a long 11 months for neighbors who are glad to at least have some answers now.

Davis may be in jail for a while. He is being held on a $100,000 cash bond, because Shawnee police and Johnson County prosecutors say Davis stole up to $100,000 worth of stuff from the Shawnee mansion at 54th and Lackman Road, then burned down the $1.5 million home.

"Definitely puts some confidence in the police department, getting these issues resolved," said neighbor Candi Shum.

The home sat on top of a hill in rural Shawnee. Firefighters were called to the scene for what was thought to be a brush fire, but when they arrived, found the mansion on fire. They estimate it had been burning for an hour.

Shum says ever since the fire in mid-September, there has been a lot of talk among people who live in that neighborhood.

"We weren’t really sure if it was an inside job or if someone else had come and done it, so,” she said.

As of now, Davis is the only suspect in the arson. Court documents do not outline a motive for the fire.

Neighbors say the property had been for sale for quite a long time, and the owner lives out of town.

Davis's arrest putting neighbors at ease. Possibly quieting the rumor mill, although some still want more details.

"I think everyone had wanted to know who had done it and what the story was. I know it brought a lot of attention to a neighborhood that was otherwise pretty quiet,” said Shum.

If Davis does come up with $100,000, he will still have to come up with an additional $25,000 because he has also been charged with failure to register.

Davis is a registered sex offender and has a long rap sheet which spans over two decades.

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