Five teens charged with arson spree

Feb. 3, 2009 at 12:10 PM
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Police in St. Petersburg, Fla., says boredom allegedly caused five teenagers to set fire to 14 cars and one house in a single night.

The teenagers allegedly confessed to tossing gasoline-filled soda bottles into cars, mostly convertibles, and one house, The St. Petersburg, Fla., Times reported Tuesday. No one was injured in the fires.

Police allege the teens conducted their crime spree before dawn Sunday and were arrested and charged with arson after one of the teens allegedly left his wallet at a crime scene.

The owner of the wallet led police to the other teens, ages 16 to 18, who all allegedly confessed and took police on a tour of their crimes, including three house fires set before Sunday, said St. Petersburg police spokesman Bill Proffitt.

"These are just good students who had too much time on their hands," Proffitt said to the newspaper. "I'm not really sure how to explain it."

The damage to the cars and homes was so extensive that the final cost has yet to be determined, Profitt said, adding none of the boys had a prior criminal record, the Times reported.

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