Neighborhood surveying damage after vandalism, possible arson

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INDIANAPOLIS — Neighbors on South Moreland Avenue woke up Sunday morning to find a garage on fire and their cars’ tires slashed.

Chase Stonehouse’s garage was completely destroyed in the fire. Stonehouse believes the fire was set on purpose and that he may have been targeted. “It must’ve been some kind of act of violence,” Stonehouse said.

Firefighters were called to the garage fire just after 5:15 Sunday morning. Neighbors were able to wake Stonehouse, his family and nearby families and get them out safely before the fire was contained. Thankfully, no one was hurt. “It could’ve killed people,” Stonehouse said.

Now, Stonehouse and other neighbors are speaking out, hoping to catch the person who may have started the fire. Nearly 10 cars in the area also had their tires slashed in the same time period and investigators say the two crimes are likely linked. Three of the cars belong to members of Stonehouse’s family.

“People who do things like this deserve to spend some time in jail. Somebody really could’ve been hurt,” Stonehouse said.

One of the cars with its tires slashed was a street away. It belongs to Brian Dugger, who says he’s not sure why he was targeted, too.

“They need to get caught. It’ll probably cost me a couple hundred dollars,” Dugger said.

Investigators are asking everyone in the neighborhood to keep an eye out and call in suspicious behavior. They have had other arson fires in the area before.

“We want everybody in this area to stay vigilant,” Captain Mike Pruitt of the Wayne Township Fire Department said.

Anyone with information into either incident is asked to call Wayne Township Fire or Crimestoppers at 262-TIPS.

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