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Man who set fire to Raleigh stores on night of George Floyd protests sentenced to prison

A Raleigh man has been sentenced to 85 months in prison for setting fire to downtown Raleigh businesses during protests of George Floyd’s murder on May 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

Richard Rubalcava, 27, pleaded guilty on March 23 of this year to setting fire to the Dollar General Express store on East Davie Street during vandalism and looting that took place the night of the protests.

Rubalcava was captured on video entering the Dollar General several times, stealing merchandise and setting fire to items in the store. He has been ordered to pay $354,379.22 in restitution to Dollar General for the crime.

His sentence in federal court also stems from setting a fire inside the Budacai restaurant on East Martin Street and vandalizing the nearby Red Hat building, according to a news release.

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This story was originally published December 16, 2021 5:19 PM.

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