Man faces felony arson charges after fires at bank office, apartment complex

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: July 12, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.

PRINCE GEORGE – A Prince George man is being held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail after police said he said he allegedly set fires at an office building and apartment complex intentionally.

Authorities arrested David Starke, Jr., 25, of Prince George on June 30 following a pair of fires set in the county only minutes apart during the overnight hours of that day. 

The first of those fires occurred along Crossings Boulevard in the popular business and office complex there as, according to police, around 2 a.m. on June 30, officers were called to the area near Touchstone Bank’s corporate headquarters where they found several fires burning around the outside of the building. Fire crews were able to extinguish the fires shortly after responding.

While Prince George Police investigated the fires at Touchstone Bank’s headquarters, a second fire-related call came into dispatch, this time at the Baileys Ridge Apartments roughly a mile away but, alert residents at the complex put out the flames in a stairwell before fire and police arrived. 

That Sunday saw both Prince George County Police and the Dinwiddie Sheriff’s Office work together to develop a suspect, with Starke being arrested later that day.

According to police, the Prince George resident has been charged with felony malicious burning of an occupied home and similarly, an unoccupied office building. 

A motive for the fires has not been revealed by investigators. 

Per state law, if convicted, Starke faces stiff penalties for the alleged offenses. Burning or destroying a home or other facility when it is occupied carries a minimum sentence of at least five years in prison. As for unoccupied buildings, which the Touchstone Bank headquarters were at the time of the fire, those convicted could face between two to ten years behind bars. 

Copyright 2019 by Womack Publishing
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