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Teens charged in Pinellas arsons face more accusations

ST. PETERSBURG — Deputies say five teens already facing charges in connection with 15 arsons Sunday also are responsible for four incidents of vandalism and attempted arson in Pinellas County jurisdiction.

Mathew Pineda Kiernan 16; Francis Huy Du, 16; Alain Nguyenj, 18; Tan Minh Tran, 16; and Quoc Tan Lam, 17, already face felony arson charges in connection with the St. Petersburg fires.

Deputies say the teens also tried to set fire to homes in unincorporated St. Petersburg. Vehicles were damaged and Molotov cocktails were found at the residences. Deputies say none of the incidents resulted in fires.

In addition to the arson charges from the city, the teens now face three counts of attempted arson, three counts of manufacturing or possessing a firebomb and two counts of criminal mischief.

Angela Smith, 36, who lives at the first house hit early Sunday, said she's upset that people have described the teens as good kids who set the fires out of boredom.

"I have good kids, too, but when they're bored they don't go out and try to burn people's houses down," said Smith.

She awoke at 3 a.m. Sunday morning to find her son's car had its window smashed and its tires slashed. Deputies found a smashed bottle in front of her house and a wick on the roof.

Teens charged in Pinellas arsons face more accusations 02/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 9:47pm]
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