ST GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) – Two men were charged with felony arson after they say they were paid to steal a truck and light it on fire, according to St. George Police.
According to charging documents, Washington County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded to a vehicle fire off Navajo Dr in St George on Monday. When they arrived, they found a pickup truck was fully engulfed in flames.
Police contacted the registered owner, who was unaware his truck was not parked outside where he left it.
The owner told police inside the truck were some personal items including gas cans, LED lights, and a heavy-duty trailer hitch, documents state.
Officers searched the surrounding area and found one resident had surveillance cameras on their home.
According to documents, the footage from the residence showed the stolen vehicle westbound on Navajo Dr around at 5:46 a.m. and was followed closely by a white pickup truck.
At 6:09 a.m. the white pickup truck was seen on video traveling the opposite direction at a high rate of speed. The vehicle fire was called into dispatch at 6:16 a.m.
Police received information through other officers indicating Jarrett Huddleston, who had been arrested earlier that day on unrelated drug charges, might have been involved in the incident, according to the police report.
Police recovered items stolen from the truck during a search of Huddleston’s vehicle, which also matched the vehicle seen in the video surveillance.
Documents state during an interview with police, Huddleston denied he was driving the vehicle at the time of the incident and stopped talking with detectives.
When Huddleston was arrested on the drug charges, he was with a man named Timothy Maas. In an interview with police, Maas said he heard about the arson and he had also seen an article about the fire in the news but denied being involved, charging documents state.
Detectives discovered Both Maas’s and Huddleston’s shoe patterns matched the shoe impressions observed on scene of the vehicle fire.
Mass then admitted to police he had been involved in the theft and said they had been offered a couple hundred dollars to take the truck and drive it into the desert, document state.
When they arrived at the home Maas said the person who hired them told them where they could find the keys. They then drove the stolen vehicle to the desert and “some other people” poured gas on the truck and lit it on fire, Maas said.
Police have not been able to corroborate their claims of being paid to steal the truck.
A background check for Maas shows multiple arrests and convictions of drug charges and theft.
Huddleston was convicted in 2015 of assault and multiple drug related offenses.