Man charged with burglary, arson

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He is accused of trying to burn down business

By Lisa King

A Bagdad man  is charged with second-degree arson and third-degree burglary in connection with a fire at a towing service there.

Sheriff’s deputies say that Mitchell R. Smith, 34, of Bagdad is accusing of intentionally trying to burn down Around the Clock Towing in Bagdad.

“We got a call from Around the Clock Towing in Bagdad  on April 2, of   possible arson after the closing of business the night before,” Detective Jason Rice said. “When we got there, we found that a fire had taken place in the bathroom of the business and it appeared that it could have been intentionally set.”

Rice said the owner and other workers told deputies that a man who worked there named Mitchell Smith had gotten into an argument with the owner, Howard White, the day before and had made some threats to the business.

When officers located Smith, he confessed to entering the business unlawfully with the intent to start a fire and destroy the building, Rice said.

Rice added that what saved the building from burning down is that the fire was started in a bathroom.

“The fire burned a pipe in two, and the water shot out and put the fire out,” Rice said. “That’s the only thing that saved the business.”

Arson second is a Class B felony, which carries a penalty of 10-20 years in prison and burglary third is a Class D felony, which carries a penalty of 1 to 5 years in prison.