Latest arson 11th in Hilliard since February

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

HILLIARD, Fla. - A Corvette set on fire in Hilliard overnight marks the 11th case of arson being investigated in the area since February.

The arsonist struck around 1 a.m. Wednesday. No one knows who is behind the arsons.

Robert Thrift said he heard his car alarm go off and ran out to see what was happening.

"I thought somebody was trying to steal my car," he said. "I come out and the hood was all on fire. I jumped in my truck and moved my truck, went in and called 911. I come back out and the whole car was in flames then."

Most of the arson fires have been centered at Eastwood Oaks Apartments on Cody Circle, where a reward sign is posted. But the arsonist has also branched out. [For a full list of the fires, click here.]

Two nights ago, Kristin Buchanan's garage was hit. Buchanan and her husband were asleep and woke up when they heard a noise.

"My husband came out with a spotlight to look for somebody," Buchanan said. "He noticed there was a fire and (whoever set it) banged on the back door to warn us there was a fire. ... We didn't see anybody."

According to police reports, the arsonist did knock on doors in another case.

"Well, we are looking into all the cases along with the state Fire Marshal's Office, running down leads trying to find this individual or individuals and hoping to make an arrest soon," Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said.

He said people should secure their property and keep an eye out because the arsonist is getting bolder.

Neighbors worry someone is going to get hurt.

"I think right now I am more worried that they are going to be hurt," Buchanan said. "There are a lot of angry people in Hilliard right now."

Anyone with any information about the arson fires is asked to callĀ 877 NO-ARSON.

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