A 29-year-old man from Simms Settlement has been charged with 21 offences following an arson and break and enter crime spree in Chester.
Just after midnight on April 1, Lunenburg County District RCMP responded to a call of a break and enter in progress on Stanford Lake Rd. in Chester. Occupants of the home found a man who had broken in and was attempting to steal items. The occupants confronted the male who then fled. Evidence recovered from the scene indicated that the suspect attempted an arson in the residence.
Upon arriving on scene, police observed that a detached garage on an adjacent property was engulfed in flames. Members forced their way into a home in close proximity to the garage to remove any occupants as the home was covered in burning embers and was at risk of catching fire. Police found the home unoccupied and also noted that it appeared to have been broken into. While police were in the home, the garage collapsed, falling close to members, forcing them to retreat from the home.
A short distance from that residence, police located an unoccupied vehicle that had gone off the road. Police determined that this vehicle was connected to the incidents.
Around the same time, police received a 911 call of a man attempting to force his way into a home on Hwy 3, a short distance from the fire scene. After a confrontation with occupants of that home, the suspect fled into a nearby wooded area.
Approximately an hour later, police officers received another 911 call reporting that a man had broken into another home on Mallard Ln. Upon arrival, David Douglas Smith was located attempting to flee the residence with stolen goods. He violently resisted arrest and was apprehended with assistance from the RCMP Police Dog Service. Evidence indicated that the suspect had attempted to start a fire in that residence as well.
As a result of the investigation, Smith has been charged with 21 offences including:
- Four counts of Break and Enter
- Arson Endangering Life
- Two counts of Arson
- Assault with a Weapon
- Assault of Police Officers
- Resisting Arrest
- Uttering Threats to Police
- Theft Under $5,000
- Prohibited Driving
- Breach of Probation
Additional charges are expected.
Smith is being held in custody and is scheduled to appear in Bridgewater Provincial Court on April 3 at 9:30 a.m. The stolen items have been recovered and there were no serious injuries.
The Lunenburg County District RCMP General Investigation Section is leading the investigation with assistance from RCMP Forensic Identification Services and the Nova Scotia Office of the Fire Marshal.
Police wish to notify residents that over the last three weeks, RCMP in Lunenburg have responded to more than 20 break and enters in the New Ross/New Russell and Aspotogan Loop areas. Police are asking citizens to check on seasonal properties and to report anything out of the ordinary to police.
If you have any information about these incidents, you are asked to contact the Chester RCMP Detachment at902-275-3583. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you can also contact Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit tips by Secure Web Tips at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca. Calls to Crime Stoppers are not taped or traced and if police make an arrest and lay charges based on a tip, callers qualify for a cash award.
Source: Media Release