Detectives Arrest Suspect for Arson After Burning Vehicle Discovered in April

A suspect in an April arson investigation was arrested on Monday, May 7th. Christopher De Armas (12/17/85), of Middleburg, Florida, was arrested by detectives on the charge of Arson after a vehicle he recently purchased was set on fire in south Punta Gorda.

1804-001784_PIC_investigation (5)At approximately 11:00pm on April 3rd, Deputies responded to the 27000 block of Zemel Road for a report of a vehicle on fire. The caller reported the vehicle was fully engulfed and was on the shoulder of the road. The fire department also responded and extinguished the flames prior to the fire spreading to surrounding brush.

Detectives retrieved the VIN number from the vehicle, identifying it as a black 1999 Lexus registered to a subject in North Carolina. The owner was contacted and he advised Detectives that he sold the vehicle to a man named “Chris” in Florida. He provided Detectives with a phone number he had for “Chris”, which was found to be linked to a Christopher Lazaro De Armas. Florida DMV records further showed that De Armas had a black 1999 Lexus registered in his name.

de armas
Christopher De Armas

On May 2nd, the Detective assigned to the investigation made phone contact with De Armas. De Armas confirmed he purchased the Lexus, but stated he then sold it to a subject in Naples. On May 7th, De Armas responded by request to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office to speak to investigators. De Armas provided a statement about the vehicle and the incident after he was read his Miranda rights.

The Detective also determined that De Armas had used many of the parts from the burned Lexus as replacement parts for another vehicle.

Based on the evidence obtained during the investigation and the statement provided by the suspect, Christopher De Armas was placed under arrest and transported to the Charlotte County Jail.

No one was injured in the fire.

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