The Frederick County Fire Investigation Task Force arrested four teenagers in connection with two fires in Urbana on December 26.
Investigators determined that the two late night blazes, one set on Singleton Terrace and the other nearby at Addison Woods Road, had been caused by arson. Officers concluded marine flares had been used to start the fires.
Investigators checked with nearby retailers that sell these kinds of flares. Police discovered that a group of teenagers had shoplifted a large number of such flares from a Walmart store on Guilford Drive.
Using surveillance footage, police were able to identify a vehicle and several suspects, which led to the arrests.
The group was also linked to a fire started on December 23, when a flare was thrown onto a wooden deck on McPherson Street.
The total fire damage has been estimated at $130,000. The four teens, who all live in the greater Urbana area, have been charged with second-degree arson and theft.