They say revenge is best served cold, but this is sub-zero levels of payback.
A 79-year-old suspect has been arrested after allegedly setting fire to several vehicles at an Indiana-based car dealership. Dewey Fredrick told law enforcement that he destroyed inventory belonging to the O'Daniel Automotive Group in an act of revenge. Astoundingly, Fredrick says the dealer sold him a faulty Jeep in 1986 and reportedly told arson investigators that "it was time for the chickens to return to roost."
This is according to The Washington Post, which reports the disgruntled Jeep owner has been holding a grudge against O'Daniel Automotive Group for 36 years. As per the arson investigator, Fredrick visited the dealership in the early hours of July 17 and allegedly placed a burning road flare into the gas tank of a Jeep Compass. The fire quickly engulfed the SUV and soon spread to a 2013 GMC Acadia and a 2020 Jeep Cherokee.
All three vehicles were destroyed beyond repair, with the damage tallying up to nearly $72,000.
As seen in the pictures, the suspect swiftly left the premises in his Chevrolet S-10 and headed toward O'Daniel Mazda, where further carnage ensued. Here, Fredrick allegedly cut into the soft-top of a 2008 Pontiac Solstice and dropped a burning road flare into the cabin, causing over $12,000 worth of damage. Camera footage caught the perpetrator, who promptly confessed to his wrongdoings.
In an interview with law enforcement, the 79-year-old explained he set the fires because the dealer sold him a lemon in 1986 and "refused to make it right." This isn't his first act of retribution, though. At the time, Fredrick allegedly put super glue in the door locks of several vehicles sitting on the dealership lot. Now charged with four counts of arson, the senior citizen faces up to 48 years in prison if convicted on all four charges.
Despite this, Fredrick remained nonplussed and was more upset about not being able to witness his vandalism.
After the arson investigator showed the suspect a video of the fire, Fredrick reportedly remarked "Oh, that [sucker] was cooking wasn't it?" Even more alarming was his reaction to the fact that O'Daniel staffers were distressed by the fire. Fredrick reportedly laughed when he heard this. Thankfully, it seems no one was injured.
It's not uncommon for disgruntled customers to take action against dealerships, but to wait nearly 40 years is just bizarre. We're left wondering why the suspect waited so long to take his revenge and whether it was even worth it. This isn't the first time a dealership has fallen prey to an arsonist, though. In 2017, a fleet of brand new Porsches was incinerated at a German dealership after someone set several vehicles alight.
Still, both of these events pale in comparison to the mass arson that took place in Paris, when hundreds of partygoers set 650 vehicles alight on New Year's Eve.