Burning Questions

Phoenix Mountains Preserve arrest ignites flurry of speculation

Sands is charged with criminal damage, a class 6 felony punishable by up to a year in prison. Court records say the damage was estimated at more than $400 -- an amount which, according to state law, qualifies it as a felony.

Neighbors and others are puzzled by some of the details that have emerged. If Sands knew police were watching the neighborhood, why would he deface a sign right in front of them and write C.S.P. on it?

Arson experts say part of the attraction for fire starters is the thrill of risk and the attention that ensues. They also say such attention seekers can get jealous when someone else is in the media spotlight.

On April 18, Easley's Fun Shop, a downtown Phoenix landmark, was torched. And the next day, just hours before the sign on Arroya Grande was defaced, TV and newspapers reported that the blaze was the work of a new serial arsonist who has been targeting downtown businesses.

To read more New Times coverage of the Preserves Arsonist, go to our Arsonist Archives

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