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.