An Oakdale man is facing second-degree arson charges after using accelerant to burn his GMC Yukon.
In Sept. 2011, a car fire was reported on the 2100 block of Helena Avenue. When officers arrived they found a severely burned GMC Yukon with the words "Die [expletive]" scratched onto the hood of the Yukon, according to the criminal complaint.
The vehicle belonged to Scott Joseph Novak, 27, of Oakdale.
After investigating the vehicle, Oakdale firefighters believed that someone had used an accelerant to start the fire. The fire department took a sample of the Yukon's carpet for further testing by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The BCA confirmed that an accerant had been used to ignite the fire.
Novak told officers he did not know who would have started his vehicle on fire. Novak said his neighbors had a bonfire that night and might have seen the culprit.
The neighbors told officers that they saw Novak start the fire near the Yukon and then went into his house and turned off all of the lights.
Officers interviewed Novak's insurance company. Novak's insurance agent told police that Novak requested $17,500 in insurance proceeds to cover the vehicle's damage, ut the insurance agency only issued $15,300.
Novak's financial records showed that Novak owed $18,709.07 on the vehicle at the time of the fire.
In a later interview, officers told Novak that witnesses had seen him light the fire near his vehicle. Novak became extremely upset and began swearing, the criminal complaint states.
Novak demanded to know who had said that Novak started the fire. Then Novak "bragged" that he recently bought a new GMC Yukon that was better than his previous Yukon, according to the complaint.
If found guilty Novak could spend five years in prison and pay $10,000 in fines.