Teens Set Fire to Old Race Track, Get Caught Posting It on Snapchat

Screenshot: Google Maps, WFMZ

There are a few basic guidelines for social media, with some main ones being to never tweet, for obvious reasons, and, if you’re going to commit a crime, not to post about it online—again, for obvious reasons. But that’s exactly what some teens did at a Pennsylvania speedway recently, leading to their arrest for an act of arson that caused thousands in damage.

A building on the site of Pennsylvania’s old Nazareth Speedway, defunct since 2004 and awaiting its fate as a likely development site after a history of hosting both NASCAR and Indycar racing, went up in flames late last month, causing what local outlet 69 News—which, YES, is its nice, real name—reports to be $15,000 in damage.

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There were no injuries reported in the fire, according to the station.

But in a nice (sorry) surprise, 69 News reported that the fire wasn’t even out before police learned of a Snapchat video of the fire and the teens they believe started it. Two area middle-school students were arrested, and, according to the website for Pennsylvania newspaper the Express-Times, Lehigh Valley Live, police aren’t looking for any other suspects.

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The paper also reports that, according to police, the teens used their $15,000 fire for some Jiffy Pop popcorn stolen from a nearby store—which, you know, could have been done on a much smaller and less illegal source of heat. (Police said they also believe the teens stole the lighter fluid and lighter used to set the fire.)

While they might have been clever enough to sneak the items out of the store, though, local police Sgt. Michael Melinsky told the paper that the teens “pretty much caught themselves” with the Snapchat video none of their friends would have remembered for longer than 10 seconds if it weren’t a crime, anyway.

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Alanis King

Alanis King is a staff writer at Jalopnik.