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Pair Arrested In `Playing Card Arsons’ Case

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(Credit: AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

(Credit: AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

NEW FREEDOM, Pa. (AP) — Two men were charged with arson Friday in connection with a string of car fires in Pennsylvania and Maryland in which playing cards were left at the scene.

Alexander Justin-Bedour Robb, 21, of New Freedom, was arrested early Friday after police officers in a surveillance operation witnessed him setting fire to a vehicle in Windsor Township, York County, state police said. Michael Allen Nalls, 21, of Airville, was arrested later in the day.

Both men were charged with offenses that include arson and criminal conspiracy. State police said additional charges were expected.

The two men were sent to York County Prison in lieu of bail — $1.5 million for Robb, $1 million for Nalls — according to a spokeswoman at the office of District Judge John H. Fishel.

It was unclear Friday whether Robb and Nalls were represented by lawyers.

Robb admitted he was involved in setting Friday’s fire, as well as car fires in Windsor Township in December 2009 and March 2010, and he implicated Nalls in those earlier fires, according to an affidavit filed by Detective Donald E. Hopple Jr. of the York Area Regional Police Department.

Robb also admitted placing playing cards with messages on them at some of the fire scenes, Hopple said.

Police have been searching for the arsonists responsible for car fires in York County and in Baltimore County, Md., for more than a year. No one was hurt in the fires.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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