Virginia County Stumped by 72 Cases of Arson
No one hurt as fires hit abandoned buildings
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 25, 2013 9:07 AM CDT
A wave of arson has plagued Virginia's coast.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Virginia's normally-tranquil east coast is in the midst of an arson wave. A Thursday night fire (dismally reported as occurring "after two nights without one") now brings the number of fires that have baffled police since November to 72, reports. As Time explains, the fires in Accomack County have exclusively hit abandoned or vacant properties, mostly residential and at night. A rep for the state's sheriff's department says the fires are being sparked in a way that allows a great deal of time to elapse before they're spotted, allowing the perpetrators "to get away with minimal detection."

And yes, perpetrators: Because more than one building has been struck simultaneously, police believe more than one person is behind the crimes. Thus far, no one's been hurt, "but the threat is very real," the rep adds. The farming county has some 800 abandoned properties, and there aren't many people around to catch perpetrators. "When you’re talking about abandoned structures, society doesn't pay a lot of attention to it and there's not a lot of security," says an arson expert. "This is an individual who is selecting crime sites." The county is taking action in the form of a ban on uncontained fires, instituted last week, WAVY notes; it's also offering a $25,000 reward for info leading to arrests.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
Mar 25, 2013 5:29 PM CDT
well it sounds like they're hitting abandoned buildings, and vacant properties, so if the building is abandoned why does anyone give a shit about it? just saying, I mean aside from the risk of fire involved.
Mar 25, 2013 5:06 PM CDT
maybe they don't like the washing machines on the porch
Mar 25, 2013 2:12 PM CDT
Welllll, I think: we need more match control! I mean after all, matches cause fires and they did burn down some of these structures, so, we just need to have more matches or incinderary control! Right, matches cause fires not people!! PUNISH the guilty!