Crime

The felon next door torched three cars and a house with four people inside, cops say

A Lauderhill man being investigated for a series of fires to the car and house next door got charged with five counts of arson after a car fire Monday in the next block.

Lauderhill cops say GPS on John Louissaint’s car puts the 23-year-old at the scene of Monday night’s car fire on Northwest 13th Court minutes before it was reported. Louissaint lives one block north, on Northwest 14th Street, next door to where three cars and the house were set on fire in February.

Four people were sleeping in the house when the fire started, according to the arrest report. None were reported injured.

Louissaint is charged with one count of first degree arson, four counts of second degree arson and violation of probation. Louissaint is three months into a 10-year probation after being convicted of four counts of fraudulent use of personal identification, one count of grand theft and one count of aggravated battery on a first responder, all of which occurred in 2016.

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The first of the blazes for which Louissaint is accused — a house fire in the 4700 block of Northwest 14th Street — occurred at 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 2, according to the arrest report. Found on the scene: three cans of Epert Grill Lighter Fluid.

Surveillance video, the report says, shows Louissaint at Kira Ollila Wholesale Food Store at 2:34 p.m. on Feb. 1, buying three cans of Epert Grill Lighter Fluid.

Around 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 21, a 911 call came in about another fire at the same address as the Feb. 2 fire, this time to three cars in the driveway. The report says the call got Lauderhill Fire Rescue to the scene in time to save the cars, which still suffered “significant damage.” Found on the scene: three cans of Royal Oak lighter fluid with lot No. 16800 12211 still discernible.

The report said Louissaint’s car’s GPS put him at a Family Dollar in Lauderhill, where security camera footage showed him buying three cans of Royal Oak lighter fluid from a store that received lot No. 16800 12211.

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