LUMBERTON — A Fairmont man who is accused of setting fire to his home last month faces additional charges for collecting assistance from the American Red Cross, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Jack Randall Singleton, 29, of 2580 Pleasant Hope Road in Fairmont, was charged last week with felony obtaining property by false pretenses of more than $200 from the American Red Cross, according to sheriff’s Lt. Brian Duckworth, an arson investigator. One of the missions of the Red Cross is to assist fire victims.
Singleton was charged on Feb. 24 with second-degree arson, burning personal property and filing a false report after setting fire to the home he’d been renting with his girlfriend, Duckworth said. He is being held in the Robeson County jail under $30,000 bond for the fire charges and $5,000 for the fraud charges. He was denied a bond reduction on Monday.
Singleton set fire to a bed in the home on Feb. 18 by using a cigarette lighter, Duckworth said. He then called 911 and reported the fire, “disguising” his voice as a woman’s and using his great-grandmother’s name, he said. The caller gave the 911 operator a fictitious name and a fictitious address.
Singleton reported the fire a second time, this time using his own voice but claiming to be a neighbor, Duckworth said.
After the fire, Singleton filed for assistance with the American Red Cross, which gave him a debit card with about $240 on it. The Red Cross also paid $90 for a motel room for Singleton for one night, Duckworth said.
The card had about $20 remaining on it when Singleton was arrested, Duckworth said. The motel room wasn’t used.
“The bad thing is, the Red Cross is there to help people who need help, not people who deliberately do things,” Duckworth said. “… You don’t take advantage of organizations that are there to help people. Right’s right and wrong’s wrong.”
According to the N.C. Department of Correction, Singleton has several convictions in Cumberland County, including assault on a female, breaking and entering and impersonating a police officer.