It's not just insurance fraud. It's arson.
Certainly there are easier, less dramatic, ways to try to make it appear as if your car was stolen when it really wasn’t. But 47-year-old Julie Gagne of Chicago has a thing for flamethrowers. Perhaps that’s why she ordered a $1,600 XMatter X15 flamethrower online for $1,600 (you can pick between three colors: forest green, blizzard white and midnight black) and used it to torch her 2016 Infiniti QX70 earlier this month. Gagne first reported her SUV stolen to police after claiming she left a local restaurant to find her vehicle had gone.
The truth was that she parked the SUV on another street and flipped on the flamethrower’s switch. According to The Daily Herald, the X15 flamethrower uses a mix of about 3 gallons of fuel and napalm to throw flames as far as 50 feet. And yes, it’s legal to own one in the state of Illinois. The poor Infiniti never stood a chance. Police obviously got suspicious about Gagne’s claim when the flamethrower was found not far from the torched SUV. It didn’t take them long to figure out this wasn’t a regular old car theft. Ultimately, Gagne admitted to her pyro activities and retracted the stolen vehicle report. She has since been charged with arson and disorderly conduct.