A woman and two men have been charged with arson after they staged a vehicle theft before setting the car on fire.
During their investigation authorities determined the owner of the 2006 Mazda Miata, Carol Jefferson, hired Xavier Esmond and Denzel Robertson to steal and burn her car.
Jefferson’s motive, according to police, was to collect more than $10,000 from an insurance policy.
All three have since pled guilty to the crime which occurred July 21, 2013 at the Franklin Estates Mobile Home Park located on West Meade Boulevard.
Esmond is serving a one year probation sentence in the Williamson County jail. Jefferson is serving five years on probation and Jefferson two years on probation.
“Vehicle arson is difficult to prosecute because of the complex forensic evidence,” said Franklin Fire Chief Rocky Garzarek. “But it’s a crime we all pay for through increased insurance rates. We want those who may be contemplating arson-for-profit to understand we determine the origin and cause of each fire.”
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, from 2004-2006 nearly 28,000 vehicles were intentionally set on fire in the U.S.
Anyone who suspects a suspicious fire is urged to call the Franklin Fire Department or the Tennessee Arson Hotline at 1-800-762-3017.