A Willow Street man has been charged with arson and insurance fraud after lighting fire to his wife’s SUV in Lancaster city, according to city police.
Cell phone records from insurance investigators placed Fidel Dennison, 42, near the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox, which was parked in the 300 block of South Ann Street just minutes before the fire, around 10 p.m. June 15, police said.
The vehicle had been at an Akron garage from March to June 12, when it was towed to South Ann, still inoperable, police said. It had needed a timing belt that would cost about $1,000.
According to police, the owner of the Equinox, Candice Dennison, had cancelled its insurance policy in April and took out a policy with a new company in May. An insurance claim was made on June 17, police said; she still owed about $12,000.
The primary driver was Candice’s niece, Chanliza Stormfeltz, who told police she drove it June 15, but after stopping in Ephrata, it wouldn't start, police said. And Candice Dennison told police she was able to drive it to Lancaster with no problems.
Police also examined the cell phones of the Dennisons and Stormfeltz.
Fidel Dennison had told an insurance investigator he was at his Willow Street home when the fire happened, but phone data showed he was at the fire, according to police. Phone data also showed that Candice and Stormfeltz weren’t in Lancaster County at the time of the fire.
Dennison was charged Monday with felony counts of arson, risking or causing a catastrophe, insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and related charges.
Fidel Dennison is in Lancaster County Prison on $100,000 bail.
Candice Dennison and Stormfeltz have not been charged, but police said the investigation continues and more charges may be filed.
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