Arson, break and enter spree in Chester leads to arrest, charges

A 29-year-old man from Simms Settlement is facing 21 charges following what RCMP say was an arson and break and enter crime spree in Chester.

Police initially responded to a home just before midnight on Monday as a man was confronted by the occupants of a home on Stanford Lake Road after breaking in and attempting to steal items.

Officers arrived to find a detached garage on an adjacent property engulfed in flames, which collapsed while the members were on scene, and a nearby home also broken into.

RCMP say they found an unoccupied vehicle that had gone off the road a short distance from the scene, and then received another report of a man attempting to force his way into a home on Highway 3.

Once again, the suspect fled when confronted, but a 911 call an hour later reported a break and enter on Mallard Lane.

RCMP say David Douglas Smith was located attempting to flee the residence with stolen goods, "violently resisted arrest", and was then apprehended with help from the RCMP Police Dog Service.

Police say evidence suggests Smith attempted to start a fire in the first and last homes.