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CFO Jeff Atwater Announces Arrest of Serial Arsonist in Polk County


Contact: Chris Cate
(850) 413- 2842
TALLAHASSEE – Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater today announced the arrest of David Glenn Giles of Lake Wales after video surveillance footage determined he set fire to a Gate Fuel service station in Lake Wales. Giles, who has several previous arson, attempted arson and criminal mischief charges on his record, was already on probation for a string of arson fires that occurred between 2008 and 2010. He is also known to have been involved in multiple fires dating back to 1994.
“Arson is an inexcusable act that endangers lives, and it will not be tolerated,” said CFO Jeff Atwater. “I’m proud of the combined effort of all of the investigators to bring this man to justice for his repeated offenses.”
On January 26, 2014, Lake Wales Fire Rescue responded to a commercial structure fire at Gate Fuel located at 2950 Ridge Way in Lake Wales, Florida. The Florida Division of State Fire Marshal’s Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations was requested to assist in determining the cause. Their work confirmed the fire was started in a trash can inside the men’s bathroom. Surveillance video was also able to identify the arsonist as David Giles.
David Giles was arrested on January 28, 2014, at his residence without incident on arson charges. The Florida Division of State Fire Marshal’s Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI) worked in cooperation with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Corrections’ Probation and Parole offices to arrest Giles.
Mr. Giles is currently at the Polk County Jail. Additional charges for violation of probation on his previous arson and criminal mischief charges are pending. If convicted, Giles faces up to 30 years in prison.
To report arson, call 1-877-No-Arson (1-877-662-7766). A reward of up to $5,000 may be paid for a tip that leads directly to an arrest and conviction.
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government; reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses and providing transparency and accountability in state spending.