Crime

Man charged with arson in connection with dozens of arson cases

and Elizabeth Townsend

A 21-year-old man is charged with arson in connection with two recent fires and will be charged with dozens of other arson cases that have occurred in the Murrells Inlet and Garden City Beach areas over the past two and a half years, Lt. Raul Denis, spokesman for Horry County Police, said.

Ryan P. Casiere, of Murrells Inlet, is charged with two separate arson incidents that occurred in the Murrells Inlet and Myrtle Beach areas early Friday morning.

Casiere was arrested Friday afternoon and he was booked into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center at 3:16 p.m. and is currently being held there, according to jail records.

Casiere’s bond has not currently been set.

Officers first responded to one of the recent arson incidents Casiere is charged with about 2 a.m. Friday at the Powerhouse Bar and Grill on U.S. 17 Bypass in Murrells Inlet, according to a police report. A man traveling southbound on U.S. 17 Bypass noticed a fire in a trash bin near the business and stopped to tell someone inside the business, police said.

The driver and employee told police they did not notice anyone in the area at that time, Denis said. Horry County Fire Rescue arrived and extinguished the fire.

Later Friday morning, about 4:30 a.m., police were called to a new home under construction on 1322 Beaufort River Road in Myrtle Beach. The entire structure was destroyed “by what is believed to be an intentionally set fire,” Denis said.

Denis said Horry County police already were investigating a suspicious fire set in a Murrells Inlet Kroger bathroom in February, as well as two fires set near the America’s Mattress store – located at 11620 Frontage Road, Murrells Inlet – in December.

HCPD arrest warrants connect Casiere to multiple arson cases, including fires started in Murrells Inlet-area business dumpsters and fires started in the beds of parked trucks, in addition to the fires already mentioned.

Detectives and the investigators are working closely with the Horry County Solicitor’s Office to prosecute a significant number of cases that Casiere is allegedly connected to, Denis said.

Denis said Casiere’s arrest is the result of a joint investigation over the past two and a half years conducted by personnel from HCPD, State Law Enforcement Department, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms, Murrells Inlet and Garden City Beach Fire Department, and HCFR.

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