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Two Men Arrested for the Arson of Their Neighbor’s Vehicle


For Immediate Release:
June 22, 2017
Jon Moore
(850) 413–2870
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – CFO and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater, who oversees the Department of Financial Services (DFS), today announced the recent arrest of two Daytona Beach residents, Steven Atkinson and John Butler III, on charges of arson and conspiracy to commit arson following an extensive investigation into a vehicle fire conducted by DFS’ Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI).
Daytona Beach Fire Rescue responded to a vehicle fire involving a 2011 Ford Ranger on June 15, 2017 in the parking lot of the Royal Palm Court Condominiums located on the corner of 9th Street and Derbyshire Road in Daytona Beach. BFAI investigators were later called to the scene to investigate the cause, origin and nature of the fire.
During the investigation it was discovered the condominium complex was equipped with security cameras in the area where the fire occurred and after analyzing the surveillance footage, investigators were able to identify two men setting fire to the 2011 Ford Ranger. Following the surveillance video analysis, investigators conducted interviews with witnesses from the scene of the incident and were able to establish probable cause identifying Atkinson and Butler as two potential suspects.
After interviewing witnesses and neighbors, it was believed that the fire could have been vindictive in nature as both suspects had allegedly planned the targeted arson days prior to the incident.  It was also believed that the two suspects and the owner of the destroyed property, have been engaged in an ongoing feud though neither parties involved confirmed this.
Atkinson and Butler were arrested without incident on June 19, 2017 and were transported to the Volusia County Jail. Both were charged with arson and conspiracy to commit arson and if convicted, could face up to 15 years in prison. 
The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Department of Financial Services that conducts statewide fire, arson and explosives investigations. The Bureau encourages Floridians who suspect or witness suspicious behavior to contact the Arson Tip Hotline by calling 1-877-662-7766. Callers can choose to remain anonymous and any information that leads to a prosecution may be eligible for a cash reward.
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