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Daytona Beach Arson Suspect Arrested in Panhandle

4/26/2002

DAYTONA BEACH – An investigator from the Daytona Beach State Fire Marshal's Field Office, assisted by the Palm Coast Fire Department's arson investigator, served an arrest warrant late Thursday to an arsonist who had moved from Central Florida to the Panhandle.

On January 11, 2001, the Palm Coast Fire Department and the Flagler County Sheriff's Office responded to a fire involving a house and two vehicles located at 5 Castle Court in Palm Coast. The first arriving deputy forced entry into the burning structure and removed the occupant.

Frank Xavier Vinci, Jr., 42, of 7030 Thomas Drive #1, Panama City, became a suspect after a State Fire Marshal investigator discovered that he had been involved in a recent disagreement with the victim over a failed business venture.

Two witnesses provided sworn taped statements indicating that Vinci informed them of why and how he burned the victim's house and vehicles. Vinci's co-defendant, Steven C. Cumberbatch, gave details in a sworn taped statement of how he had accompanied defendant Vinci to the victim's house on the night of the fire.

On April 23, 2002, the Seventh Judicial Circuit (Flagler/Volusia counties) issued an arrest warrant for Vinci. Vinci was booked into the Bay County Jail and charged with three counts of arson. Bond was set at $50,000. The defendant will be extradited back to the Central Florida area.

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 suspicious fires is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON).