Two Sanford men have been charged in connection with a 2021 fire which catastrophically damaged the Kendale Lanes bowling alley and an adjacent business, according to the Sanford Police Department.
Kay Choosakul, 52, of Sanford, faces three felony counts of arson, felony obtaining property by false pretense, felony conspiracy, and soliciting another to commit a felony. Meanwhile, Charles Banet, also of Sanford, has been charged with two felony counts of burning of buildings, a felony count of burning personal property, and felony conspiracy.
Chooksakul was identified by Sanford police as the owner of the Kendale Lanes bowling alley at 139 Rand St., which was heavily damaged in a 2021 fire that began in the middle of the night. The fire also caused damage to United Refrigeration, a business in the same building, which was subsequently demolished. The Sanford Police Department’s press release, sent Saturday evening, indicates that an arson investigation began “just after midnight on June 3, 2021,” when the fire broke out.
SPD indicated that the Sanford Fire Department and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation assisted in the probe.
In addition to having owned the bowling alley, Choosakul appears to have been involved in competitive fishing over the past several years. According to a Major League Fishing profile, he’s competed in 21 professional fishing events since 2018, finishing in the top 10 four times and winning a total of $3,756.
Choosakul was placed in the Lee County Jail under $200,000 secured bond. Banet was jailed under $100,000 secured bond.
not to justify it, but this is a direct result of covid stupid unnecessary draconian measures destroying small business owners….leading to desperate measures….they always went above and beyond for the patrons and WAY above and beyond for our special needs bowling team….prayers going out to these families now with this stigma attached to their names.
I’m sorry, but I must disagree with you. I bowled for over 40 years in Sanford – first at OK Bowl, then at Kendale Lanes. There are many wonderful memories. After this man became the owner, I quit bowling because of his “draconian” personality. There were/are a lot of business owners who endured the covid situation without taking the step that this man allegedly did. Whatever stigma is attached to his name is well deserved.
Correct. I used to bowl at Kendale. Any night, and I mean any night lanes were full, there were people by the dozens waiting to bowl. (I used to bowl TWO leagues per week). After sold, you couldn’t fill half the lanes. I used to work for a 36 lane house as Brunswick pin setter repairman. That house knew the rules to a good business. 90% of those lanes were full an hour after opening until closing time, and that location was in Joplin, Missouri. Like fly fishing, you have to match the hatch to catch trout. As a business owner, you have to match area income average to remain successful. Choosakul decided to do a little and make a lot, but it backfired on him. They changed food quality which destroyed the snack bars delicious treats. They changed (up to 400% markup) bowling ball prices. They changed prices to drill (up to 500% mark up) instead of allowing ball buyers FREE drilling or a minimal charge of $5-$15 dollars. It is obvious that if you wish to destroy a business that has been a local icon and successful for countless years, then sell to someone like Choosakul. Shortly after that, kiss it goodbye!
I must disagree with you. I bowled in Sanford for over 35 years, first at OK Bowl, then at Kendale Lanes. I have many wonderful memories attached to those places. I gave up bowling there when the new owner took over, because of his “draconian” personality. Many business owners endured what he allegedly did without taking this measure. He has earned the stigma attached to his name.
Wow you went from 40 to 35 years just like that
As someone who loved that bowling alley and enjoyed so many memories as a child, celebrating birthdays and just having the chance to learn how to bowl in the first place and Kendale Lanes being my first ever bowling alley in my hometown of Sanford NC, I’m bittersweet on the whole situation. While I’m glad these two are going to pay dearly for what they did, it still breaks my heart to know that one of my remaining relics of my childhood no longer stands because of malicious cruel intentions caused by two heartless monsters that could care less about other people’s memories or connections to relics like this. Thankfully I have a few pics that I can cherish for a long time to come but I’m just hoping one day that a new bowling alley will replace what no longer exists, it can’t end this way and it would be a travesty if that lot were to remain empty because of terroristic acts brought about from two scums of the earth. Please resurrect a bowling alley, anything!!!! Don’t let these fiends win!!!!!
the place was profitable when glen and others worked it and had it..they gave balls at prices just above their market costs and drilled them either for free or at a minimal sum…then sold it became a nightmare…balls tripled in costs, have a ball drilled could be $75 plus, and the food that was excellent at snack bar, went to hell in a handbasket…i told my wife the instant it became news, who was responsible..we made a bet and she lost..i’ll collect tomorrow —
Tragic news on all fronts.
My family loved our Sanford bowling alley, and yes perhaps surprisingly, the snack bar really did have some of the best burgers in town!
Since the fire we’ve been wondering about any news regarding the bowling alley reopening and were talking about it just about a week ago.
With Sanford’s continued growth, we can benefit from more recreational options for families. Bowling alleys don’t seem to be as popular as they had been decades ago, but the alley here always seemed busy with birthday parties, etc,
So it will be interesting to see if someone will want to invest in either reopening this alley or building another. It certainly would be nice if someone could do so.
Unfortunately, many were negatively affected by the safety measures that were put in place to fight a global pandemic that has killed over 1 million people in the USA. I guess some people would have been fine with 4 million dead as long as they could still go bowling. Most people did not commit crimes. There were other options than arson.
Man he needs to do a lot more fishing to pay for that bail 🤯
The whole fire and remodel of Schooly’s should be investigated, as well…. imjs
I see that the old building has been demolished, and it appears that new construction is beginning. Do we know what is being rebuilt in its place?
Owner of the land/building is hoping to get a one stop industrial supply shop in there