Arson is suspected after two cars burned and a home was damaged early Tuesday morning in a rash of car break-ins on Westchester Drive off Bass Road.
Shortly after 6 a.m., Jason Marti woke up to the sound of a loud bang and found his two cars ablaze in the driveway of 151 Westchester Drive.
“It was a fireball,” Marti said. “It’s not the way you want to wake up on a Tuesday.”
Marti’s Toyota Prius appears to have been set on fire and the blaze spread to his Honda Odyssey minivan. Both vehicles were gutted by the flames.
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The heat melted the siding around Marti’s garage door as the smoke filtered into the attic of the large brick home.
“We are going to post a $10,000 reward,” said Sgt. Ben Gleaton, an arson investigator for the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department.
“In my opinion, it’s the result of a deliberate human act.”
Upon the initial inspection of the burn patterns, Gleaton was able to determine the fire did not start in the car’s electric battery system, he said.
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office also is investigating three other car break-ins nearby at 148, 168 and 184 Westchester Drive, said Lt. George Meadows, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
A rifle was stolen from a vehicle parked at the house across the street from Marti’s home and a toolbox was removed from another neighbor’s vehicle, Meadows said.
“It’s hard for us to determine what they got out of the burned cars,” Meadows said.
The sheriff’s office estimates the incidents happened between 4:30 and 6 a.m. Meadows said it is possible more break-ins or thefts could be discovered when travelers return home.
Anyone with information is asked to call Macon Regional CrimeStoppers at 742-2330 or (877) 68CRIME.
Tips also can be phoned in to the Georgia Arson Control Hotline at (800) 282-5804.