Man Arrested for Torching 132 Mercedes-Benz Cars in Brooklyn Parking Garage Fire
It appears all $9.2 million worth of damaged vehicles belonged to Mercedes-Benz of Brooklyn.
A man was arrested in correlation to a fire responsible for damaging 132 Mercedes-Benz vehicles that were being stored in a parking garage by Mercedes-Benz of Brooklyn. The perpetrator claims that several unlocked cars were being used for public sex by several people including the homeless.
According to local news outlet PIX 11, the 23-year-old self-described homeless man was arrested after he was spotted on surveillance footage gaining access to a brand new Mercedes-Benz. The car, which is one of many stored on the second floor of the Kings Plaza mall parking garage by the local dealership, can be seen bursting into flames shortly thereafter. Within minutes of the man leaving the area, the entire second floor of the garage went up in smoke as the fire spread throughout the facility.
The suspect was arrested nearly eight hours after the fire began, telling media that he was "sorry" and apologized for his actions on the way to the back seat of a police car. On Tuesday, after a night in holding, the man stepped in front of a judge to respond to the criminal complaint. Prosecutors note that he "was motivated to start the fire by his belief that others used the parked vehicles for sexual activity", however, other sources refute the claim by mentioning that the man may have been sleeping in the parking garage and was kicked out.
A total of 137 vehicles were damaged in the blaze, 132 of which were Mercedes. Each vehicle destroyed in the fire had a resale value of at least $70,000, according to another employee, and included C-Class, E-Class, G-Class, GLS-Class, and S-Class vehicles.
The fire created thick bellows of smoke which brought some travel on nearby Flatbush Avenue to a standstill. In all, FDNY confirmed that the blaze had been escalated to a seven-alarm fire before being extinguished, injuring three civilians and 18 responders. Nearly 300 firefighters reportedly responded to the call.