Cop car blaze suspect charged in unrelated case

| 20/04/2018 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Rupert Spence

(CNS): Rupert Spence, who was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the arson attack on two brand new police cars this week, has been charged with arson in another unrelated case. The 32-year-old man from George Town appeared in Summary Court Friday and was remanded in custody in connection with setting fire to two cars in Palm Dale Avenue last September. Spence is accused of using bottles filled with kerosene, one of which was found at the scene with his prints on it, to torch two cars as well as an attempt to set an apartment on fire.

According to the police case, a green Daihatsu and a red Honda parked outside an apartment block were set on fire in the early hours of 12 September and an attempt was made to set one of the apartments in the block ablaze as well.

One of the car owners, a resident in the apartments, woke to the sound of an explosion and a strong smell of kerosene. She was able to douse the start of the fire in an apartment.

Then she went out and, seeing the cars burning, hosed those down as well while waking her neighbour, before the police and fire services arrived and extinguished the fires. In court, prosecutors stated that the owners of the cars did not know Spence, who was arrested some time later and bailed while the case was investigated.

Spence, who has a long rap sheet of petty crime, suffers from mental health issues and he is now the prime suspect in the police arson case, though he has not been charged.

The police commissioner stated today that the two patrol cars had been damaged beyond repair but the insurance at the garage where they were being prepped for service will be covering the cost of replacing them with new cars, which have already been ordered.  The new vehicles are expected to be on island within two months.

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Category: Crime, Police

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