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Man charged with arson after allegedly setting cars, store in Franklin County on fire

KMOV St. Louis logo KMOV St. Louis 5/8/2021
a close up of a man: Darek Michael McMahon, 30, is charged with second-degree arson following three fires in Union. © Union Police Department

Darek Michael McMahon, 30, is charged with second-degree arson following three fires in Union.

UNION, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Union police have charged a man they say is responsible for setting fires in three places early Thursday morning.

One of the locations was the Cars Made Simple used car lot. Owner Ruel Davis said the arsonist used gasoline from a lawn mower that was sitting outside to burn two vehicles.

"And this is straight up destruction," Davis said.

Surveillance cameras recorded the man pouring gasoline on rags and then using them to burn a Dodge Dakota pickup and a Jeep Cherokee. He said the person also slashed 8 tires.

"A lot of dollars that are gone," said Davis.

According to police, the arsonist also burned an abandoned vehicle a couple of blocks away and the entrance to Agape House, a nearby thrift store.

"It's very disappointing that someone would do this. Especially to the Agape House which really does a lot for this community and all over the county," said Capt. Rick Neace.

Davis said this is the third time criminals have caused costly damage at his car lot or auto repair shop next door. After this latest incident, he said he's decided to move the car lot back to Washington where it was previously located.

"This is the final straw. I was kind of, sort of working that direction, as time went on. This is the push," David said.

On Friday, police arrested 30-year-old Darek Michael McMahon after being identified as a suspect. He was charged with second-degree arson. His bond is set at $50,000 cash only and he is being held at the Franklin County Jail.

Man charged with arson after allegedly setting cars, store in Franklin County on fire
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