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Self-Storage Arsonist Returns to the Scene of the Crime in Buford, GA

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A man who allegedly set fire to two vehicles at Buford Superior Self Storage in Georgia earlier this month was arrested shortly after he returned to the scene of the crime. Nicholas Minardi, 21, visited the facility at 1600 French Blvd. the day following the arson under the guise that he wanted to check on his girlfriend’s storage unit, according to the source.

Fire crews responded to the facility at 7:22 p.m. on July 23 after the storage manager heard a popping sound and discovered a car on fire. The blaze spread to two adjoining storage units, and fire crews found a second vehicle on fire at the opposite end of the storage facility, according to Capt. Tommy Rutledge of Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services. The vehicles and units suffered extensive damage.

"In a strange twist, Minardi actually returned to the scene Monday evening under the guise that he was checking on his girlfriend's property to see if it was OK," Rutledge said. "He claimed that he heard about the fire in the news, which wasn't true based on the fact that the fire department had not yet issued a media release about the incident."

The facility’s surveillance video also showed Minardi's vehicle on the property on the day of the fire, Rutledge said. Minardi was arrested at his home late Tuesday afternoon. He’s being held at Gwinnett County Detention Center on two charges of second-degree arson, two charges of second-degree criminal damage, entering an auto, and possessing a tool for the commission of a crime.

Buford Superior Self Storage is a part of Carpenter Storage LLC, which operates three facilities in Acworth, Alpharetta and Buford, Ga. The sites offer 24-hour access, vehicle parking and a retail store that sells moving and packing supplies.

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