String of Bay County vehicle arsons appears to have returned

By  | 

BAY COUNTY (WJRT) (6/22/2018) - A string of intentionally set vehicle fires appears to have started back up in Bay County.

There were five reported in late April and May, and now two more Friday morning.

Police believe someone is intentionally setting cars, pickup trucks and SUVs on fire. The search for the suspect or suspects is continuing.

Sally Erndt heard a noise outside her house around 3 a.m. Friday. She didn't hear her dogs barking, so she assumed it was nothing significant and tried to fall back asleep.

"I heard a louder noise, so I got up and looked and walked out of the bedroom, looked out the living room window and my truck is on fire," Erndt said.

Her pickup was torched by someone in the middle of the night. Erndt's wasn't the only vehicle damaged by fire in the neighborhood.

"And while they were finishing putting out the fire on my truck, they got the call for the next place," she said. "I was first."

Don Wiechec heard something and noticed a flash of red in his backyard. The flash was his brother's car, which had been sitting in the same place for about a week.

"They must have been checking it out during the week," Wiechec said.

Investigators believe these two fires might be related to four other similar fires in nearby Hampton Township and and another one in Portsmouth Township back in April and May.

No suspects have been arrested in those cases. Erndt is actually from Hale, living for the last several weeks with her sister-in-law in Bay County while Erndt cares for her husband, who is at a nearby medical facility.

She has been living partially out of her pickup truck and had a lot of personal items inside.

"It's my clothes, I bought my husband some clothes, an Ipad," Erndt said.

She said the truck, the clothes and the other items can be replaced. But as she looks through the ruins, she wonders why.

"Very sad that someone wants to do something like this," Erndt said. "What enjoyment do you get out of something like this? I don't understand it."

Anyone with information on any of the vehicle arsons is asked to call the Bay County Sheriff's Office.