PEMBROKE — A Pembroke man will face more than 19 arson charges after he set an automotive shop on fire Thursday night, damaging three other businesses and destroying 15 cars, according to Lt. Brian Duckworth of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.
Larry Oxendine, 51, of the 2600 block of Evergreen Church Road, Pembroke, was arrested by Pembroke police after surveillance videos from a nearby business captured him setting J’s Transmission Shop at 621 Union Chapel Road on fire. According to Duckworth, Oxendine, who appeared to be drunk in the surveillance video, lit cardboard boxes that were then used to spread the fire to the building.
According to Duckworth, Oxendine acted out of revenge.
The fire, which started just before midnight Thursday, also damaged a massage parlor, a tattoo shop and a small jewelry store.
“The tattoo parlor had couches which were all covered in soot, they’re probably going to have to throw it all away,” Duckworth said.
Detective Reese Oxendine of the Pembroke Police Department said that he responded to the call about a fire along with the Pembroke Fire Department.
“When I got here at about 2:30 a.m., the fire was contained … ,” Oxendine said.
Duckworth said that firefighters worked until the early hours of the morning today to put the fire out.
“If you were to give an estimate on damages, including all the cars, I would say a couple hundred thousand dollars,” Duckworth said.
Johnny Conley has owned and operated the transmission shop for 11 years. Conley said the business did not have insurance, and he is not sure if he will be able to reopen.
“I don’t know right now,” Conley said. “I don’t know where I’m going to go or what I’m going to do.”
Duckworth said that Conley and Oxendine’s father were in a recent dispute over the sale of an electronic part, but that the dispute had been settled between the two men. According to Conley, Oxendine didn’t know the situation was resolved.
Detective Oxendine said that the accused was being held at the Pembroke Police Department this morning.