‘You have to feel lucky;’ Neptune Beach homeowner who nearly had house set on fire speaks out

The search for a suspect wanted for arson and vandalism continues out of Neptune Beach. The surveillance video shows the culprit setting something on fire outside of a home and walking away. Now, Action News Jax is hearing from the homeowner.


“You have to feel lucky, you dodged a bullet,” Don Wiggins said.

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The video shows the suspect walking up to his door with mail on fire. setting it on his front porch and walking away. With char marks and burnt paper left behind, Wiggins said he’s lucky this wasn’t any worse.

“Right next to it is firewood we have left over from last winter that didn’t burn, just sitting there and our house is wood,” he said. “If he put it somewhere else it could’ve set on fire.”

RELATED STORY: Neptune Beach Police is looking for a suspect who is involved in Arson

Action News Jax confirmed that the Neptune Beach Police Department believes the suspect is responsible for also burning down at least two mailboxes on Nightfall Drive, damaging several others all in the span of an hour early Thursday morning.

“This is one of most bizarre things I’ve ever seen,” Wiggins said. “He burned mailboxes, vandalized mailboxes, he rang doorbells and took mail and did all sorts of things.”

The six incident reports Action News Jax obtained are all along Nightfall drive and Kings Road. It’s a quiet area with only one way in and out.

RELATED STORY: Caught on camera: Neptune Beach police looking for arson suspect who lit porch on fire

“It’s secluded, I don’t know if he randomly found this or if he knew the neighborhood,” Wiggins said.

The suspect is described as a heavy-set man, wearing glasses with a distinctive beard. Wiggins said he doesn’t have many concerns the suspect will come back but is asking neighbors to be aware.

“We’re going to be vigilant and definitely going to keep the cameras,” he said.

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The Neptune Beach Police Department said they don’t think was a neighborhood dispute and Wiggins said he’s not sure why anybody would want to vandalize the homes. Many of the neighbors Action News Jax spoke to around are hoping he’s held accountable. If you know who the suspect might be, you’re urged to call 904-270-2413 if you can help identify the suspect or to remain anonymous and be potentially eligible for a reward, you can contact First Coast Crime Stoppers @ 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

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