arson suspect allegedly targeted dealer over lemon they sold him in 1986

Nearly everyone has been a “victim” of a purchase that didn’t live up to the advertised standards. Maybe you were shorted a few peanut M&Ms in a package. Maybe your Ikea furniture didn’t come with the coveted Allen key. Or perhaps your Deluxe Scrabble board game was missing a “J” tile.

Well, 79-year-old Dewey Fredrick claims he’s one such victim. He says way back in 1986 – that’s 36 years ago – O’Daniel Auto Mart in Fort Wayne, Indiana sold him a Jeep that turned out to be a juicy lemon, quotes a Washington Post article.

Which is apparently why Ol’ Dewey rolled up to the dealership at 1:15 am on July 17, 2022 in his 2002 Chevy S-10 pickup, armed with a couple of road flares and a knife, and acted on some 36 years of pent-up anger.

Fredrick is alleged to have put a lit road flare in the fuel tank of an innocent 2019 Jeep Compass, which unsurprisingly went up in flames. The vehicles on either side of it, a  GMC Acadia and a Jeep Cherokee, were collateral damage and also experienced some scorched paint.

Reportedly multi-tasking as the three aforementioned vehicles were burning, Mr. Memory is then said to have went to the neighbouring Mazda dealer, sliced a hole in the cloth top of a convertible Pontiac Solstice, and dropped another lit road flare into the cabin, lighting it up.

Security cameras captured the crimes in the first lot, which amounted to $72,000 in damage to the three crossovers; and $12,823 in damage to the Solstice.

Easily caught, Firestarter Fredrick openly admitted to his actions, citing his story of the lemon of a Jeep with a “bad” engine as his motive. Charged with four counts of arson, he now faces eight to 48 years in prison if convicted of all felonies. “It was time for the chickens to return to roost,” said Dewey of his motivation.

It apparently wasn’t Fredrick’s first attempt at revenge; back when this started in 1986, he allegedly put superglue on the doors of several cars on the dealer’s lot to express his displeasure. Maybe he should’ve done like the rest of us and written a simple zero-star Google review instead.


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