PARKSLEY, Va.- Virginia State Police say the Accomack County arson fires are the work of several people, not just a lone individual.
The number has risen to 44 arsons in the county since Mid-November. It is a staggering total that perplexes some county residents.
"I just don't know why they're doing it. I just don't know why. I just can't imagine why," said Rose Bruno of Parksley.
State police have stepped up patrols, called in extra investigators and are working very closely with other local law enforcement agencies. So far, each of the structures that have been set on fire have been unoccupied. The need is to catch these arsonists before things escalate.
"It's unfortunate that this is happening and that is why we're stepping up to catch this arsonist. This arsonist has no remorse or feelings for people within the community," said Sgt. Michelle Anaya of the Virginia State Police.
Virginia State Police officials also say there are tell-tale signs and clue left behind at these arson fires that distinguish the work of this group from of copy-cat criminals.
"We believe it to be somebody that lives within Accomack County and is familiar with the layout of the land," Anaya said.
And the need to catch these people goes well beyond the goal of protecting these structures throughout the county.
"The arsonist, he doesn't realize he's not just setting a structure on fire, he's putting lives in danger. Police officers and fire fighters lives are in danger," said Anaya.
Police said they have several leads but it is the information from the public that will help them put an end to this crime spree.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:19 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:19:20 GMT
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