Someone lit a car up like a firecracker in east Tulsa Monday. Now, Tulsa fire investigators need your help finding an arsonist.
The SUV was parked in the 7200 block of East 47th Street. An alert neighbor called 911 and News on 6 reporter Omar Villafranca has this report.
"It sounded like fireworks. Like an M-80. A big firework." The popping noise Glen Hogard heard came from a Toyota Forerunner. The parked SUV was burning. Hogard saw an intense fire eating through the inside of the SUV.
After talking to a fire investigator, Hogard found out the fire was intentionally set. Tulsa Fire investigator Mike Bailey: "The windows were busted in. The vehicle had other vandalized areas and the area where the fire was looked like it was obviously set by human hand and not by an ignition source from the vehicle."
A neighbor told the News on 6 a nearby field is a hot spot for criminal activity. He's found CD's, even car stereos in this field. And there used to be a fence blocking people, but now there is not, which is leaving a clear path for criminals to hit their target.
The SUV was completely gutted, burned all the way down to the frame. The owner says the arsonist also stole hundreds of dollars in speakers, console TV's and CD's. Another woman in the complex says criminals stole two tires off her car just last month.
Nearby, Hogard says he's had plenty of close encounters with thieves. â€œThey've had problems out here a lot, with car robberies. I've caught one guy running back through my fence." This was the first car arson Hogard has seen and he's hoping it's the last one. The owner did have insurance, but not all the things stolen were covered.
Now, Tulsa fire investigators need your help. If you might have seen or heard anything, you can call our Arrest Arson hotline at 596-2776. Remember, you can remain anonymous.