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Three teens face arson charges in at least three counties

Charged

Cam Lee Rowland

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

KANNAPOLIS — A 19-year-old and two juveniles are facing arson charges after seven vehicles at a Kannapolis automotive dealership were burned. The three are accused of burning vehicles and other structures in at least three counties, says Capt. John Sifford with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

On Feb. 1, sometime around 5:45 a.m., Scott Beaver, the owner of Beaver’s Pre-owned Honda, reported to 911 there were vehicles on fire at the dealership. The business is at 9455 Smith Road. He heard a pop, and when he looked outside, the vehicles were already engulfed in flames, Sifford said.

Cam Lee Rowland, 19, of the 2300 block of Southeast Fairport Drive, Concord, was charged by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office with seven counts of felony burning of personal property. He was issued a $35,000 secured bond.

Sifford said that, according to Rowan County Fire Division Chief Deborah Horne, the fire started inside the vehicles.

Beaver told investigators he used his forklift to move the vehicles to prevent the fire from spreading. Detective Travis Allen spoke with Beaver and later Mooresville Police regarding the suspects the agency had in custody, Sifford said. A 14-year-old and 16-year-old are also involved, Sifford said.

The following vehicles at the auto dealership were damaged by fire — a 2004 Acura, a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban, a 1996 Honda Accord, a 2004 Honda CRV, a 2008 Acura MDX, a 2006 Honda Ridgeline, and a 2005 Acura MDX. The vehicles were valued at $2,000 and $8,000.

Rowland admitted to Mooresville investigators that he burned the cars at Beaver’s Pre-owned Honda, Sifford said.

The night before, Mooresville Police charged three teens with arson. Police there responded to a fire at a vacant home on Saturday. Rowland was issued a $25,000 bond following the Mooresville incident.

Multiple fire departments responded to a structure fire at 252 Mackwood Road, Mooresville, just after 3 a.m. on Saturday. Upon arrival, the vacant structure was fully involved and the roof had collapsed, according to a statement from Mooresville Police.

Soon after, a second fire was reported at 788 Shinnville Road also in Mooresville. A 911 caller said a vehicle was parked in the driveway of the burning home. Later, police and fire investigators noticed a similar vehicle drive by the Mackwood Road fire scene.

Mooresville Police stopped the vehicle and identified 19-year-old Cam Rowland and two male juveniles, 16 and 14, of Mooresville. As a result of this investigation, the three admitted to setting the Mackwood house on fire, then traveling to Shinnville Road and setting that structure fire, the statement said.

Rowland was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree arson for the Mackwood Road fire. He was also charged by the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office for actions related to the Shinnville Road fire. This investigation is continuing, and more charges are expected, Mooresville Police said.

Mooresville Fire-Rescue, along with units from South Iredell Volunteer Fire Department, Mount Mourne Volunteer Fire Department and Davidson Fire Department responded to the Mackwood Road house fire.

The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office charged Rowland with felony second-degree arson, two counts of felony burning of personal property, felony breaking and entering, six counts of misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two counts of felony breaking and entering a motor vehicle.

According to a statement from Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell, the Shinnville Road residence had been vacant for some time. A witness who was driving by saw a vehicle parked in front of the residence as flames were beginning to become visible and called 911. The witness saw the vehicle leave the scene at a high rate of speed, the statement said.

Iredell County Sheriff’s Office detectives worked closely with the Iredell County Fire Marshal’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to determine the cause of the fire, which was ruled as intentionally set.

Detectives continued to investigate, developed the three teens as suspects and conducted interviews with them.

Information was obtained which showed the suspects were involved with this fire as well as possibly other fires which had been set in the city of Mooresville, the statement said.

The charges from Iredell County stem from not only the vacant Shinnville Road home, but two vehicles that were set on fire on Jan. 30 in the area of Coddle Creek Highway. Cam Rowland was issued a $25,000 secured bond. Rowland remains in the Iredell County Detention Center.

Rowland’s total bond is $85,000 for the separate incidents.

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