May 13, 2006

Teen Arsonists Busted After MySpace Posts

Left: Fire personnel extinguishing blaze on March 12 attributed to teen arsonists; photo by Allison Finn

(Rockville, MD) Two Maryland teenagers were charged with setting 17 fires in suburban Washington, DC after they bragged about the blazes on sites.

The young firebugs face a total of 22 charges, including two counts each of first-degree arson and four counts of second-degree arson.

The two boys, whose names have not yet been released, are accused of setting fire to school busses, a bowling alley, retail stores, and numerous vehicles. An anonymous tip led investigators to MySpace, where they found photos and text that linked the teens to the fires.

"The significant thing is they posted on the Internet, and bragged about the fires, and that certainly allowed us to break the case," said Montgomery County Fire Chief Thomas W. Carr Jr. "They posted photos of these fires."

Carr said that the wave of fires frightened residents in the area.

"Whatever their motive is, they took the opportunity to set numerous fires," he said of the spree that lasted from January 20 to April 16. "The neighbors were very much concerned about the terror in their neighborhood. They were freaked out."

Carr added that, while the MySpace tip helped break the case, he had grave concerns about parental oversight.

"There's two things about that. One, it definitely helped us," he said. "But two, the ability to communicate in real time and brag in real time is obviously a concern. It illustrates that the parents need to be involved. Where were the parents when this was going on?"


Anonymous said...

What a bunch of sorry ass punks.

Petrograde said...

They are lucky they got off being charged as juveniles.

elementaryhistoryteacher said...

The parents were the doing the same thing they were doing a few years ago when these same kids were watching tv. Parents have exchanged one type of technology for another more updated one to serve as a babysitter.

-Sepp said...

It seems that myspace has become the place for cops to start when they open an investigation. This is about the 5th stupid kid that posted his plans or, bragged about committing a crime on that website.
HM, the parents prolly don't know how to operate the computer.

ToledoNative said...

Or the parent just have no idea what their children are doing on line.

Hooda Thunkit said...

When a was a wee lad (a VERY LONG time ago), I learned to keep my mouth shut, about many things, unlike many of my peers.

And, that silence has kept me out of prison..., so far ;-)