Insane World

79-year-old accused of setting fire to vehicles at two dealerships after they sold him bad Jeep

A man is accused of setting fire to vehicles at two dealerships, Indiana officials say.

The 79-year-old is charged with four counts of arson after he was seen on video around 1am on July 17 at the O’Daniel used car lot in Fort Wayne, according to an affidavit.

The man told the Fort Wayne Police Department that he started the fires as revenge against the dealership, which he said sold him a Jeep with a bad motor and “refused to make it right” in 1986.

“It was time for the chickens to return to the roost,” the man told Fort Wayne police officers, according to the affidavit.

The video footage shows the man opening the fuel door of a 2019 Jeep Compass and placing an ignited road flare inside the fuel tube, according to the affidavit. The man then drove off the lot in his car while the Jeep was engulfed in flames.

The fire grew and ignited vehicles on either side of the Jeep, including a 2013 GMC Acadia and a 2020 Jeep Cherokee. All three vehicles, worth more than $70,000 combined, were destroyed in the fire.

After leaving the used car lot, the affidavit says the man drove to a second O’Daniel dealership in Fort Wayne. There, the man used a knife to cut open the roof of a 2008 Pontiac Solstice Base Convertible before dropping an ignited road flare through the slit in the roof to the driver’s seat.

The flare caused the driver’s seat to catch fire and created heat and smoke damage to the car’s interior, the affidavit said.

The damage to the convertible was greater than its $12,823 value.

The man also told officers that shortly after purchasing his Jeep in 1986, he placed Loctite, Super Glue and another accelerant in the door locks of cars on an O’Daniel lot.

While watching the footage, the man identified himself to police and said he was upset he did not get to watch the fires he set, the affidavit says. After he saw the damage to the convertible the man told police, “That’s all the damage it did.”