In 1986, a dealership sold a man a lemon of a Jeep. That transaction has come back to haunt the sellers in a big way nearly 40 years later, the Washington Post reports, when the buyer returned to the dealership to cause over $70,000 via arson in July of 2022.
The arsonist, 79-year-old Dewey Fredrick, drove his pickup to O’Daniel Auto Mart in Ft. Wayne Indiana in the early morning hours of July 17th. Fredrick started his revenge by allegedly opening the fuel door of a Jeep Compass on the lot and sticking a road flare inside the fuel line opening. The Compass burst into flames, and the fire spread to a GMC Acadia and a Jeep Cherokee that were parked on either side.
While those were burning, Fredrick made his way to the Mazda dealer next door. There he allegedly targeted an innocent Pontiac Solstice by cutting a hole in its convertible top. He took another road flare and dropped it into the opening. That burst into flames and damaged the Solstice.
Cameras captured all the action in the first lot. In total, Fredrick caused nearly $85,000 in damage: $72,000 in damage to the three crossovers and $12,823 in damage to the Solstice.
Fredrick was caught, of course. And he gave zero fucks, fessing up to everything. He told investigators he did what he did because O’Daniel sold him a Jeep with a bad engine 36 years ago.
“It was time for the chickens to return to roost,” he said. He tried to get his revenge then by supergluing the doors of cars on the lot. He even identified himself to investigators in the surveillance video, saying “Oh, that [sucker] was cooking, wasn’t it?”
While seemingly badass, he still committed a crime. Fredrick was charged with four counts of arson. He faces 48 years in prison if convicted on all charges. He still doesn’t seem to care, though. Investigators noted that, when told that the dealership wasn’t happy with what he did, he laughed.