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Arrests Made Following String of Car Bombings
Anchorage police have been trying all summer to track down those responsible for throwing fire-bombs into cars in the early morning hours. After nearly three months, APD has made a pair of arrests. 25-year-old Corena Bell and 20-year-old Rickie Schmoe were in Anchorage District Court Thursday afternoon.
They were both arrested and charged with one consolidated count each of criminal mischief in the first degree, criminally negligent burning, and failing to report a started fire. From May 31st to July 18th of this year, police say 22 vehicles were damaged or destroyed by the fires... that even includes an RV and a boat. Damage is estimated at $100,000.
ABC Alaska News found some cars in July melted into the ground and completely destroyed in the Airport Heights neighborhood. Police say that Corena Bell had a phone book delivery job, and she made her deliveries anytime she wanted... which happened to be very late at night. APD believe she fire-bombed cars along her route, targeting ones with open windows. Officials say it's been difficult to gather leads, and the attacks by Bell and Schmoe were very serious.
"This could have created a situation more disastrous than it was, minimally it's a huge inconvenience, at most it's a crime, we're hoping these two are held accountable to the courts" says Lt. Paul Honeman of the Anchorage Police. Bail was set for Corena Bell at $10,000 and $20,000 for Rickie Schmoe, both require a third-party custodian. Police say it's still an active case, and there could be more arrests. They are still investigating seven un-related playground fires. If you know anything about those, you're asked to call Anchorage Crime Stoppers at 561-STOP (7867).