Waynesboro PD say trio of illegal dumpster fires in June could have burned down local business

04 December 2023- More charges have been filed against two men that were previously charged with setting numerous dumpster fires in the borough of Waynesboro earlier this summer during a burn ban are facing additional property charges following an extended investigation. Maxwell Dominic Alexander and Ryan Thomas Phelps are both charged with felony reckless burning near an unoccupied structure in danger of damage, felony reckless burning of a place that has a value exceeding $5,000, three counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief damaging property, and three citations of dangerous burning. Neither Alexander nor Phelps have been arraigned on the newest charges. They received unsecured bails at their initial arraignments for prior charges.

Waynesboro PD were dispatched to three locations in the borough for reports of fires around 2:15am on June 12th, which coincided with a number of burn bans in Waynesboro and other municipalities. Those three locations were listed as the 100 Block of Schiers Way, The ball field located at Old Mill Road and State Hill Road, and the 700 block of S Potomac Street to the rear of a contracting business.

Through the investigation, police learned that Maxwell Alexander, Ryan Phelps, and a juvenile were involved in three separate fires in Waynesboro, as well as a fourth in Washington Township. Much of the same information about timetable and methods line up with previous reporting on the incident.

What was learned, however, is the total amount of alleged damage done during that night. Police say that $548.55 was done to each of the three dumpsters inside of the borough. The flames and intense heat from the fire next to the contracting business reportedly melted the siding and threatened to catch fire to the building. That damage was recently unveiled to be $6,498.56. All totaled, Waynesboro PD say $8,144.21 worth of damage was done in the borough of Waynesboro alone in the early morning of June 12th. Alexander and Phelps’ previous charges relate to the incident in Washington Township.

Ryan Phelps and Maxwell Alexander are awaiting arraignment on the recent charges, which is likely to take place during their formal arraignment in Common Pleas Court on December 6th.

Sources: Docket Number: MJ-39302-CR-0000481-2023, Incident No.: WPD202305750, Docket Number: MJ-39302-CR-0000482-2023, Docket Number: CP-28-CR-0001371-2023