BEL AIR, Md. — A 44-year-old man from Wilmington, Delaware has been convicted and sentenced for two Bel Air arson investigations.
Richard Benjamin Lodeski was charged in June 2020 with two counts of Second Degree Arson, two counts of First Degree Malicious Burning, two counts of Second Degree Malicious Burning, and two counts of Malicious Destruction of Property over $1,000.
He was later charged with additional counts of Second Degree Arson, First Degree Malicious Burning, and Malicious Destruction of Property over $1,000.
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The first arson fire occurred on June 15 at a Shell gas station in Bel Air. The second arson fire occurred on June 20 at the 1226 Bel Air Road. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered two separate buildings on fire.
During the investigation, Lodeski was also connected to other crimes, including arson in Baltimore County and burglary in Ocean City.
Investigators are working with Delaware law enforcement in connecting him to other arsons in the Dewey Beach area.
"Arson is a callous and senseless crime that endangers the lives of innocent residents and our firefighters who bravely respond to protect life and property," stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. "I commend my Deputy State Fire Marshals and our federal partners in fire investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and their outstanding efforts to investigate these incidents and apprehend the suspect."