Florida Teen Allegedly Sets Fire To Ex-Boyfriend’s Car, Except It Was The Wrong Car

A Florida woman, age 19, faces a charge of second-degree arson after allegedly torching a car that she thought belonged to her ex-boyfriend.

Instead, the owner of the Honda Accord in question turned out to not be her ex and said he doesn’t know her and has never seen her before, in an incident that perhaps gives a new and disturbing definition to hot car.

“A young Florida woman who was smoking mad at her ex-boyfriend tried to set fire to his car. The only problem was the vehicle belonged to a total stranger,” the New York Post explained about this unfortunate situation that may or may not be chalked up to only in Florida.

“You know the saying, ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold’ but in this case hot, and to the wrong person,” the Argus Leader observed.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the suspect set fire to the vehicle in Clearwater, Florida, on August 28, in the episode that was recorded on a surveillance camera outside the owner’s home. Clearwater cops subsequently posted the video to the police department Facebook page and on social media in hopes of identifying the responsible party. The suspect reportedly fled the scene of the fire on a bicycle.

At the time, authorities were offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

It has yet to be determined what caused the couple to break up, the Washington Post asserted about the incident that has prompted national headlines, but presumably it was less than amicable.


Last Saturday, Clearwater cops posted an update about the car-on-fire case on Facebook.

“Remember this arsonist caught on tape last weekend torching a car? She’s in custody now. Thanks to all who called and wrote in with various tips. Her name is Carmen Chamblee and she has been charged with second-degree arson and will be booked in to the Pinellas County Jail. A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy spotted her this morning just south of Clearwater.”

Media accounts have as yet not indicated a court date in the case of mistaken car identity.

Bail was posted at $10,000 in the Clearwater alleged arson case, WSB-TV noted.

NBC Miami indicates that the woman was supposedly seeking “revenge” on her former boyfriend when she allegedly started the blaze in or near the vehicle’s trunk. “She told police she thought the car belong to a former boyfriend. It didn’t,” the Tampa Bay Times added.

“Chamblee allegedly stuck a rag in the car’s gas tank and set it on fire. She may have also used a flammable liquid to bring further misdirected fury to the forsaken four-door,” the New York Daily News claimed.

The owner of the burned vehicle, identified as Thomas Jennings, told ABC Tampa Bay affiliate Action News WFTS that “it was his roommate who discovered the car completely engulfed in flames. ‘He came running in the house saying my car was on fire. We ran out there. He had a pot of water trying to get it to go out. It was too much.'”

Under Florida law, someone found guilty in a court of law of second-degree arson, a felony, could in a worst-case scenario be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay fines up to $10,000.

In an unrelated case that also occurred in Florida in March 2014, a woman allegedly set fire to a man’s car when he refused to purchase a McFlurry for her at a McDonald’s restaurant in Jacksonville. She allegedly poured alcohol and gas on the car before tossing a match on it, ABC Orlando affiliate WFTV reported at the time.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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