Arson suspect claims he set motor home ablaze out of fear vehicle was stolen

Posted at 5:10 PM, Aug 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 19:10:11-04

SPRINGVILLE, Utah — A man was booked into the Utah County Jail on an arson charge after he set a motor home on fire and told police he set the blaze because he believed the vehicle had been stolen.

The fire occurred Tuesday shortly before 5 a.m., and the motor home is a total loss.

According to the Springville Police Department, 44-year-old Thomas Baggs was arrested after investigators determined the fire had been intentionally set.

Baggs claimed he was doing some work on the motor home for the owner, but “for some reason” began to believe the vehicle was stolen. He told police he was worried that he might somehow be implicated in stealing the vehicle, so he started a fire to eliminate any evidence, such as fingerprints.

However, the vehicle was not stolen. The vehicle broke down in Springville, and the owner had already returned home to the Price area.

Police said they believe Baggs, who is originally from Staten Island, New York, has been living in a camp trailer in Utah County with his fiance for several months.

Baggs was booked into the Utah County Jail on an arson charge.

It was not immediately clear if Baggs knew the owner of the motor home or simply told police he was doing work on behalf of the owner. There were no injuries reported in connection with the fire.

The motor home is considered a total loss after the blaze.