National News

Man accused of arson arrested after returning to scene of crime

Posted July 28

— A Buford man was arrested on Tuesday afternoon after he returned to the scene of an arson and pretended to have heard about the crime on the news.

One problem - the arson hadn't been in the news, yet.

Nicholas Minardi, 21, has been accused of intentionally setting two vehicles on fire at the Buford Superior Self Storage on French Boulevard on Sunday. Firefighters responded to the blaze at about 7:22 p.m. after the property manager heard a popping sound and found one of the cars on fire.

"Crews arrived to find smoke and flames showing from one of the vehicles, as well as two storage units in the center of a multi-unit storage facility," said Firefighter Capt. Tommy Rutledge. "They also discovered a second vehicle on fire on the opposite end of the complex."

Both fires extensively damaged the two cars and two adjoining storage units.

Rutledge said fire investigators found footage of Minardi's vehicle in surveillance videos from the storage facility. Then, Minardi came back to the scene of the crime and drew attention to himself.

"In a strange twist, Minardi actually returned to the scene Monday evening under the guise that he was checking on his girlfriend's property to see if it was OK," Rutledge said. "He claimed that he heard about the fire in the news, which wasn't true based on the fact that the fire department had not yet issued a media release about the incident."

Minardi was arrested at his home late Tuesday afternoon. He was booked into Gwinnett County jail that day at 3:51 p.m. and is being held on charges of two charges of second degree arson, two second degree charges of criminal damage, entering an auto and possessing a tool for the commission of a crime.

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