CHARLES COUNTY, MD (June 23, 2022) – A Waldorf man was arrested yesterday evening for setting his sister’s house on fire after he made an earlier threat to do so and stole a vehicle in hopes of getting away.

Randall Wayne Crowder Jr., 42 Credit: Office of the State Fire Marshal

Just before 10:00 p.m., Charles County Sheriff’s deputies requested the Office of the State Fire Marshal to investigate a fire in the 9200 block of Kris Drive. Deputies indicated they had arrested Randall Wayne Crowder Jr., 42, shortly after he fled his sisters’ house in a vehicle he had stolen from a neighbor after the house fire was reported.

Deputy State Fire Marshals responded, and during their investigation, Crowders’ sister stated that he had warned the family earlier in the day to “pack their bags.” The sister told investigators that before the fire, she saw Crowder on her property and then saw Crowder throw something at the side of the house. When she exited her house, she smelled a strong odor of gasoline and saw Crowder run out the back door of the basement and flames in front of the basement door. Crowder then stole a neighbor’s vehicle and drove away. Charles County Sheriff’s Office told investigators after they pulled over the stolen vehicle, they discovered a bag belonging to Crowder, which contained a can of butane fuel and a cigarette lighter.

“I want to thank the Charles County Sheriff’s Office for their quick response and apprehension of this suspect,” stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. “Every fire has the potential to hurt someone, and we’re fortunate that this fire grow did not grow larger and put the family at risk,” continued Geraci. 

Charles County Sheriff’s Office charged Crowder with Unlawful Taking of a Vehicle, while Deputy State Fire Marshals charged him with First Degree Arson, Second Degree Malicious Burning, and Reckless Endangerment. He is currently being held at Charles County Detention Center without bond.

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