11/15/2012 9:51:00 AM Suspect charged in alleged veterinary hospital arson case
North Branch Police booked a suspect into county jail November 9 in connection with the veterinary clinic fire, early in the morning November 4. The 21-year-old North Branch man, Ryan Keith Ortlepp, made his court appearance Tuesday this week and was charged with second degree arson for the fire that left about $20,000 in damages to North Branch Veterinary Hospital. Ortlepp was also charged with fifth degree arson for a fire in a dumpster near Pizza Pub in North Branch November 2. A North Branch police spokesperson said in a news release Ortlepp’s relatively quick arrest was made possible with the help of information submitted from someone who’d overheard talk about the incident. Authorities also reviewed surveillance camera footage from a business near the veterinary hospital and tape from Holiday, where Ortlepp is alleged to be on videotape buying a lighter close to the time the veterinary hospital fire starts. A North Branch Police officer was able to extinguish a smaller fire in a dumpster, near the veterinary hospital, while calling in the larger structure fire.