True Crime: Arson on the front porch

Martha Lara and her daughter had called it a night, and curled into bed on a chilly mid-October evening. What they woke up to would be quite shocking and unnerving.

Luckily, only the porch was burned.

The Victim: Martha Lara
The Crime: Arson
Date: Friday, Oct. 15
Time: Between 9:30 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Location: 2400 block of Emmett

Martha Lara and her daughter had called it a night, and curled into bed on a chilly mid-October evening. What they woke up to would be quite shocking and unnerving.

“I don’t know what happened,” Lara says, describing the events of the next morning.

Part of her front porch was charred from a fire that someone had set during the night.

Police believe someone removed a plastic plant from Lara’s front patio, moved it next to her house, and then intentionally set it on fire.

“My daughter and I were sleeping. The next morning we opened the door, and the corner of the porch was burned,” she says. “I was very scared when I saw it.”

Police found additional scorch marks on her home’s bricks, and also identified a branch that had been set on fire near a door to one of the home’s bedrooms, and a broom that had been on fire adjacent to the patio, which caused scorch marks. Police say that the smell of some type of accelerant was apparent.

The incident could have been worse, but luckily Lara and her family were unharmed.

“I don’t know why someone would do this,” Lara says.

She estimates the damage may cost several hundred dollars for repairs.

Dallas Police Lt. Santos Cadena of the Southwest Patrol Division says this type of crime is rare in the area, and very little arson has been reported this year.

“Arson is not a common crime,” he says. “The Southwest Division has only eight reported arsons since July 1. We have not seen any trend of random arsons.”

Cadena says that no arrest has been made, and no suspect information was available in the crime. However, the case is still an open investigation, and anyone with information is asked to call the Dallas Police Department.

2

Number of robberies at apartments in the 700 block of Plymouth over a four-day period

$5,550

Value of items stolen from a unit where the robber kicked in the door and told the resident he was being evicted

$325

Amount taken from a resident at gunpoint as he was walking up the stairs


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