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2 arrested after suspects doused clerk in fuel, set fire to convenience store in Forsyth County

WYTHEVILLE, Va. -- Two men were arrested and charged after allegedly tying up a store clerk, dousing him in fuel and setting fire to a convenience store in Forsyth County, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff's office.

Investigators with FCSO and the Wythe County Sheriff's Office arrested the two, more than 90 minutes away from the crime scene, in Wytheville, Virginia, early Friday.

David Curtis Smith and Cody Lee Long

David Curtis Smith, 58, of Yadkinville, and Cody Lee Long, 25, of Ozark, Alabama, are both charged with attempted first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree kidnapping, burning certain buildings and larceny of a motor vehicle.

The Wythe County Sheriff's Office also charged them with being fugitives from justice.

They are both being held in Dublin, Virginia, awaiting extradition to North Carolina.

They were found asleep at a Pilot Flying J. truck stop where they had an F-250 truck pulling a horse trailer with living quarters inside, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office released two surveillance videos on Oct. 26 which show one of the suspects entering a store and going to the counter.

The crime happened at about 11 p.m. on Oct. 20 at the Stop and Save at 6641 Styers Ferry Road in Forsyth County.

Investigators said two suspects entered the store at about 9:40 p.m. and demanded money from the clerk at gunpoint. The clerk was tied up and accelerant was poured throughout the store, according to deputies.

The store’s owner, who didn’t want to be identified, said his employee was bound with zip ties and tied to a chair. The suspects used diesel fuel, which they poured on the employee, and inside the store.

The owner said the men were inside for about an hour, even pretending to be employees when would-be customers tried to enter.

The suspects stole thousands of dollars’ worth of items, according to authorities.

The suspects then locked the victim inside, still bound by the zip ties, after setting the store on fire, according to the owner.

Deputies say the suspects then stole the clerk’s vehicle. It was found burned and unoccupied just before midnight in Davie County.

The owner said the clerk was able to free himself from the zip ties but was unable to escape. The store’s windows are protected by bars.

The clerk was freed by firefighters after people outside noticed the smoke, heard him yelling and called 911, according to the owner.

Deputies said the two were traveling in a newer model white Ford F-350 with dual rear wheels.

The victim was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The store owner says the victim is OK physically, but understandably shaken.

Fire officials estimated the damage to the store to be $200,000.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest.

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