Security cam captures man who set fire to parked SUV in driveway of Northside home

Incident is 3rd reported in Jacksonville area in recent months

A security camera placed outside a home on Jacksonville’s Northside recorded a masked man placing what appears to be a Molotov cocktail on the front hood of a car in a driveway.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A security camera placed outside a home on Jacksonville’s Northside recorded a masked man placing what appears to be a Molotov cocktail on the front hood of a car in a driveway.

The video, recorded around 5 a.m. on Dec. 13, then shows him igniting the explosive before running away. The act comes two months after News4JAX reported a similar incident in the Lackawanna neighborhood.

The owner of the car — who asked to remain anonymous for her protection — was asleep inside the house. She said she was alerted by her neighbor.

“He told me the car was on fire and to come outside. I came out outside and he already called the firefighters,” the female owner said.

Firefighters put out the fire before flames spread to the house.

The similar case that was reported in the Lackawanna neighborhood occurred in October. A family said they had just moved into a home when they heard an explosion. They looked out their window to see their SUV was on fire.

Photo from incident in October. (

“It was horrific because I didn’t know if the vehicle was going to blow up or whatever, so I immediately got myself and my 5-month-old out and the rest of my girls out of the home,” the Lackawanna resident said.

Although there was no surveillance video to show what happened, the family said they were informed by the state fire marshal that the fire was the result of arson.

“They let us know the individual created a torch and doused it in gasoline and lit our vehicle on fire,” the Lackawanna resident said.

Investigators say they located a torch under the rear wheel well close to the gas tank.

A day after that story aired, a Northside man contacted News4JAX and said his vehicle was also set on fire, but it happened back in August. At the time, he did not want to speak publicly or release his surveillance video because he feared retaliation, and he also feared it would hinder the police investigation. But now that a third similar incident has been reported, he shared his footage in hopes it will help police.

Photo from incident in August. (

He spoke on a condition of anonymity.

“I was wondering if it was a coincidence, was it linked together because of the way and things he used to burn the vehicles?” he asked.

While it’s unclear if the same person is responsible for all three fires, they were each set under the cloak of darkness with the owners of the vehicles were fast asleep.

The two residents on the Northside fear the person responsible will eventually hurt or kill someone, and they hope someone will contact the police if they know anything that can lead to an arrest.

“This could happen to anyone, so I just hope somebody does recognize him,” the Northside woman said. “I hope the video helps and I hope somebody feels confident enough to stand up and say, ‘That is not right.’”

“If he doesn’t get caught and it does not stop, I’m pretty sure it will be a house next,” the Northside man said. “The way he is burning the vehicle, they are so close, and that fire is so high.”

If you know anything, the residents hope you’ll contact JSO by dialing it’s non-emergency number 904-630-0500, or by submitting an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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