The bad economy is motivating more some people who are down on their luck to turn to arson, reports Charlotte’s NewsChannel 36. “Nobody ever sets a fire thinking they are going to get caught,” said Dickie Hayes of the Arson Task Force. “But what we’re finding is people who are desperate, they put no thought into it and go out and do it.” Local finance-related arsons are on the rise — up to 30 percent for car arsons and 10-20 percent for house fires. “They’re doing it for the insurance money,” Hayes said.
Home arsons can be difficult to prove. Most of the physical evidence is burned, so investigators must seek circumstantial evidence. While many of the cases don’t make it to court, suspects may be surprised to learn they may not get paid. Insurance companies do not have the same burden of proof as a court, so while a suspect may go free he won’t have an insurance check to show for his trouble.