Sunday, June 16, 2013

Police say alleged Accomack County Arsonists Targeted Facebook User

ACCOMAC — Search warrants filed in Accomack County contain information about a possible motive behind one of the more than 70 arson fires that happened in Accomack County during a five-month crime spree.

The Hopeton couple police say are responsible for setting most of the fires are scheduled to appear Monday in General District Court in Accomac for a preliminary hearing.

Charles R. Smith III, 38, after his arrest April 2 admitted to setting more than 70 structure and brush fires with help from his fiancee, Tonya S. Bundick, 40.

Smith told investigators the couple picked one house as a target because of comments made on Facebook, according to information contained in two search warrants taken out by Virginia State Police.

“Mr. Smith specifically indicated that in one case they targeted the residence that he burned because of comments that were made to Ms. Bundick on Facebook,” the warrant stated as probable cause for searching two Facebook accounts belonging to Bundick.

The scope of the searches included status updates, shares, notes, postings, friend lists and private messages, among other information associated with the accounts.

The warrant did not specify whose residence Smith and Bundick targeted or what the online comments said.

One of Bundick’s Facebook personas, “Teechar Toobannounced,” is still listed as a member of the Facebook groups “Arson in Accomack” and “ESVA Fires — Who is Setting These Fires? And How Will They Be Stopped?" They are two of several groups created on the social media site to discuss the arsons.

The police searches resulted in a three-page .pdf file from one account, tonya.bundick, and a 521-page file from the second account, teechar.toobannounced.

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