APD apprehends serial arson suspect from Williamson County

Austin police have caught an accused serial arsonist who escaped from a Central Austin mental hospital over the weekend.

28-year-old Kiril Belchenko was arrested after police got a tip of a suspicious person near Ben White and Bannister Lane in South Austin.

This is an update to a previous story. The original version is as follows:

An accused serial arsonist is still on the run after law enforcement said he escaped from a mental hospital in Central Austin.

Assistant Chief Deputy Mike Gleason of the Williamson County Sheriff's Office said it’s just a matter of time before they find him and he’s back in custody. “We currently have undercover officers tracking him. They are tracking all of his expenditures (and) his credit cards,” he said,

Last weekend, 28-year-old Kiril Belchenko escaped from the "Austin State Hospital" where he was a patient. “He seems to be running out of money now. He's reaching out to friends and family trying to get some money, based on our advice; they are refusing to help him. It's against the law to aid and abed a known felon,” Gleason said.

Belchenko was charged with arson for a fire at "Lone Star Bank" in Cedar Park last May. He was in jail on an unrelated charge when investigators linked him to the crime. Charges have now been filed against him for two other arsons that happened in the area, between last February and last May.

Gleason said he has made threats to specific people and considers him unstable. “He has rumored to have been deemed competent, but that is not the situation with him.

Belchenko has apparently changed his description a few times, and is believed to be clean shaven. Capt. Gleason said he has been getting around on the bus and possibly a stolen bike and has been at local libraries. “When his resources do dry up and whomever is helping him is no longer helping him then that will cause either some type of shoplifting, some type of civil disturbance for some food or things of that nature. He does not want to go back. He has expressed he will fight. He does not want to go back to jail,” Capt. Gleason said.

If you do see Belchenko, do not approach him, call 911 immediately and give a good location of where he is and where he is going.

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