HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) – A rental business owner in Washington County was arrested by detectives, accused of setting fire to one of his company’s boats and filing an insurance claim to collect roughly $100,000.

49-year-old Joseph Brad Arave was booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility, facing charges of arson with the intent to defraud an insurer (second-degree felony), possession of controlled substance (Class A misdemeanor), providing false information to law enforcement (Class B misdemeanor), and writing a false statement (Class B misdemeanor).

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a boat and trailer fire just after midnight on Nov. 6, 2022. A witness who called and reported the fire allegedly told deputies they saw a Ford truck pulling a boat and then saw the same truck about 20 minutes later going the opposite direction with the boat before noticing the fire in the distance.

Deputies reportedly learned the boat had an estimated value of $100,000 and belonged to the rental company owned by Arave. When contacted, Arave allegedly claimed he didn’t know the boat was missing and that someone must have stolen it. Detectives later learned Arave had submitted an insurance claim for the damages to the boat and trailer.

Shortly after the fire was reported, deputies say Arave was pulled over in a rental truck by a Hurricane Police Officer for speeding and was acting nervously while interacting with the officer. Detectives used a search warrant to reportedly pull dates, times, and GPS locations during the time Arave had rented the truck.

“The tracking logs showed that the truck drove out to the location of the fire, stopped for several minutes, then left the area without stopping until Hurricane PD made the stop,” reported Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

When detectives tried to set up an interview with Arave, he reportedly declined and hired an attorney.

Detectives reportedly arrested Arave on Thursday, Jan. 12 without incident. During the arrest, deputies searched Arave’s truck and allegedly found a substance that later tested positive for methamphetamines.

Arave also allegedly fled California to avoid prosecution for fraud and currently has a California felony warrant.