Richmond man charged in connection with dealership fires

Herald-Leader staff report

A 19-year-old Richmond man has been arrested in connection with an incident that resulted in a fire and the destruction of six new vehicles at a new car dealership in Richmond.

Justin Ryan Hyatt

Justin Ryan Hyatt

On Tuesday, Richmond Police arrested Justin Ryan Hyatt, 19, of 1107 Rice Lane East and charged him with first-degree criminal mischief, a class D felony punishable by imprisonment for one to five years upon conviction.

The charge stems from a fire on March 06 at Valentine Honda on the Robert R. Martin Bypass. Police responded to a report of a fire at the dealership and found several new Hondas ablaze on the lot. The Richmond Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire but six new Honda Pilot vehicles were totally destroyed.

After investigating the scene, officers determined that the fire was possibly caused by someone drilling holes in the fuel tanks of the vehicle in an attempt to steal gasoline.

Investigators say the estimated loss — due to the fire and accompanying damage to the vehicles — was approximately $233,384.
Subsequent follow-up investigation identified Hyatt as a suspect in the case.

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