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Man Charged With Arson After Fires Set At Farmington Hills Movie Theater

FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) - A 24-year-old Dearborn Heights man was arrested after he allegedly set a pair of fires at a Farmington Hills movie theater.

Police say Nicholas Glenn Chelar was at the Riviera Cinema, on Grand River Ave., with friends, Saturday afternoon, when he got up during the movie, went upstairs to the projector room, and set two fires.

Light smoke was found on the second floor, the fire alarm went off and the theater was evacuated. Firefighters extinguished one of the fires, located on a desk in the projector room. The other fire had already burned out, police said.

It happened during opening weekend of the record-breaking new film, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The multi-screen theater was showing the movie but Commander Mike Ciaramitaro said he wasn't sure if "Star Wars" was playing at the time of the fires.

No one was hurt and damage was minor, according to police.

Chelar was identified as a suspect and taken into custody at a home in Farmington Hills.

He was arraigned at the 47th District Court Tuesday on charges of third degree arson, a 10-year felony, and larceny in a building, a four-year felony. A $200,000 cash bond was set.

Chelar is due back in court for a preliminary exam on Wednesday, Dec. 30.

Police aren't talking about a possible motive.  An investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with additional information regarding this case is asked to call the Farmington Hills Police Department at 248-871-2610.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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