Accomack County, VA—A former volunteer firefighter and his girlfriend are due in court Wednesday on charges related to a rash of arsons set on Virginia's Eastern Shore over the past five months.
Tonya S. Bundick, 40, and Charles R. Smith III, 38, both of Parksley, are responsible for a handful of the more than 70 fires that were intentionally set on the Eastern Shore, according to Virginia State Police.
Both were arrested and charged Tuesday with one count each of arson and conspiracy to commit arson, stemming from a Monday night fire in Melfa, the latest arson following a spree of more than 70 fires.
Police say additional charges for the other fires are pending.
Seventy-seven fires have been set in abandoned building since November 2012. The investigation has cost state police more than $125,000.
"Based on evidence collected since this morning and during the course of the investigations over the past five months, we are confident that Bondick and Smith are responsible for the majority of the fires set since November 12th of last year," said Capt. Tim Reibel, Commander of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) Chesapeake Field Office. "As of this afternoon, Bundick and Smith have each been charged with one count of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson for last night's fire in Melfa. In consultation with Mr. Agar, the Commonwealth's Attorney, additional charges for the remaining fires will be forthcoming very soon."
Bundick and Smith (also known by the alias Charles Applegate), are being held without bond at the Accomack County Jail. Both are set to appear in court Wednesday on charges stemming from the Monday night fire.
Anyone with information about these individuals or the arsons is asked to call or text the Accomack County Arson Tip Line at 757-655-1437.
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