Docs: Serial Gilbert arsonist back in jail for starting dumpster fires

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A serial arsonist is back in jail after starting several dumpster fires in Gilbert during the month of December, according to court documents. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) A serial arsonist is back in jail after starting several dumpster fires in Gilbert during the month of December, according to court documents. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
2017 mug shot of Richard Schmidt. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's OffIce) 2017 mug shot of Richard Schmidt. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's OffIce)
2015 mug shot of Richard Schmidt. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) 2015 mug shot of Richard Schmidt. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A serial arsonist is back in jail after starting several dumpster fires in Gilbert during the month of December, according to court documents.

Richard Schmidt, 28, faces six charges of arson after admitting to starting at least three dumpster fires to officers near the area of Gilbert and Guadalupe roads.

[RELATED: String of Mesa dumpster fires lands man in jail]

Officers were patrolling the area due to recent arson fires when they both noticed the smell of smoke. Around 1:20 a.m., officers contacted Schmidt, who was riding a motorized scooter without a headlamp in the area.

While officers were speaking with Schmidt, they were notified about a dumpster fire one-half mile from their location at a Goodwill. After discovery Schmidt's previous arson history and his admittance to coming from the area, he was placed under arrest.

During the police interview, Schmidt admitted to starting the dumpster fire at the Goodwill by flicking a cigarette into the dumpster.

[PDF: Original police report on serial Gilbert arsonist]

In the same interview, he admitted to committing two additional dumpster fires on Dec. 11. He said he may have started three other dumpster fires but could not remember.

The fires caused approximately $25,000 in property damage and his bond was set at $50,000.

Schmidt was arrested in 2015 for setting a string of dumpster fires in Mesa.

In those dumpster fires, Schmidt would toss a burning cigarette into the dumpster before walking away. He admitted to all three dumpster fires and told officers this wasn't the first time he knowingly set property on fire.

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