Berlin Township, N.J. – A Philadelphia man has been arrested and charged for setting multiple fires in one business and damaging multiple others during a string of burglaries in Berlin Township, announced Camden County Prosecutor Grace C. MacAulay and Berlin Township Police Department OIC Lieutenant Ronald Silvestro.
On May 3, 2022, at approximately 3:46 a.m., officers from the Berlin Township Police Department were dispatched to an alarm at the Pure Puff Vape Shop located on the 500 block of Route 73. While in route, police were advised of reports that the business was on fire. Upon arrival, police and fire personnel observed heavy smoke coming from the interior of the business. Police also learned that five other businesses on the 500 block of Route 73 – Tullia’s Italian Restraint, Burger King, B-Tan Tanning Salon, Red, White & Blue Thrift Shop, and Imported Car Care Center – had windows that were broken by rocks.
Patrol officers subsequently located a suspect, identified as Hector W. Herrington, 33, of Philadelphia, nearby on Route 73. An investigation led by detectives from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Berlin Township Police Department revealed that Herrington had been operating a U-Haul truck in the area when it ran out of gas. Detectives learned that Herrington then engaged in a verbal argument with a female companion, became disorderly, and smashed windows to several businesses along the Route 73 corridor as well as started multiple fires inside of the Pure Puff Vape Shop. Herrington is also accused of entering inside several parked cars in order to steal items as well as attempting to steal a car. During the attempted car theft of the car that was parked for repair at the Imported Car Care Center, Herrington rammed the vehicle into the business’s metal gates in an attempt to exit the fenced yard. No injuries were reported at any of the businesses.
Herrington was charged with one count of second-degree Aggravated Arson, three counts of third-degree Burglary, three counts of third-degree Attempted Burglary, six counts of third-degree Criminal Mischief, one count of third-degree Theft of a Motor Vehicle, and one count of fourth-degree Theft of a Credit Card. Herrington will be held pending a pretrial detention hearing.
Detectives were assisted in the arson investigation by members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s Office, Camden County Fire Marshal’s Office, and Berlin Fire Marshal’s Office.
Anyone with information pertaining to this case is asked to contact Detective Tanner Ogilvie with the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (856) 580-5819 or Detective Brian Lex of Berlin Township Police Department at 856-767-5878, ext. 235. Tips can also be sent anonymously to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Released May 3, 2022.