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State Fire Marshal Sink Announces Arson Arrest Following Illegal “Renovation” Plan

7/23/2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 23, 2009
CONTACT: Kevin Cate or Jennifer Hirst (850) 413-2842
 
STATE FIRE MARSHAL SINK ANNOUNCES ARSON ARREST FOLLOWING ILLEGAL “RENOVATION” PLAN
Suspect allegedly set fire to his home to collect insurance money for renovation purposes
 

TALLAHASSEE – Florida CFO and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink today announced that a Hialeah man has been charged with first degree arson for intentionally setting fire to the kitchen of his home, causing over $100,000 in estimated damage, and submitting a false and fraudulent insurance claim. The man admitted to setting the fire with the intention of renovating his home with insurance money.
 
Cristain Rodriguez Acosta, 34, has been charged with arson of a dwelling, burning to defraud his insurance company and submitting a false and fraudulent claim. He was arrested and booked into the Miami Dade County Jail on Wednesday; if convicted, Acosta faces up to 40 years behind bars. The arrest is the result of an investigation by the State Fire Marshal Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, with assistance from the Hialeah Fire and Police Departments and Florida Peninsula Insurance Company.
 
“Arson is a serious crime that puts innocent citizens and rescue personnel at great risk,” said CFO Sink. “I commend the detectives who have worked this case, and urge citizens to report any suspicions or information regarding arson so we can hold criminals accountable for their violent and costly actions.”
 
During the investigation, State Fire Marshal Detective Charles Toledo collected 4 fire debris samples from the top of the kitchen stove and the surrounding area. The samples were submitted and analyzed at the State Fire Marshal forensic lab, where it was determined that 2 of the 4 samples contained gasoline.
 
The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin.  Anyone with information about arson or any suspicious incident of fire is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NO-ARSON).  Rewards are offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

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