Police arrest woman accused of setting a bunch of cars on fire in Mount Vernon and Station North

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A car on fire in the 1000 block of N. Charles Street. Still from Instagram video posted by user yflicker.

Baltimore police have identified and arrested a woman who they say lit more than half a dozen cars on fire around Station North and Mount Vernon last night, a spree that Acting Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said they believe was a “truly random act” of destruction.

After reviewing security footage from the area–including at the Owl Bar, where staff reportedly removed a woman and confiscated two gas canisters found in her bag after a guest complained about her washing her clothes in a bathroom sink–police issued an arrest warrant Friday evening for Lakia Letterlough, 25. She was arrested around 11:30 p.m. in the 1700 block of N. Charles Street without incident.

There were seven cars that were set ablaze, along with two that became collateral damage, Tuggle told reporters at a presser at police headquarters Friday morning.

“Somebody apparently took an accelerant and put it on a number of cars—we believe seven at this point—and set those cars afire.”

An Instagram user posted a startling video of the scene in the 1000 block of N. Charles Street early this morning.

City Councilman Eric Costello, whose district includes Mount Vernon, posted on Twitter that the arsons happened along a stretch running from the 1700 block of St. Paul Street, above Penn Station, down to the unit block of E. Eager Street in Mount Vernon.

Tuggle had said they would look at video surveillance footage and interview witnesses. “We’re going through the entire process. We’re not gonna leave any stone unturned in this.”

Police released two images of their person of interest Friday afternoon, posted below.

BPD had said it would work with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on the investigation. “They are an expert in arsons, and so we’re using their expertise in conjunction with our own,” Tuggled said.

WBAL-TV shared some harrowing shots of burnt vehicle shells melted to the ground Friday morning.

Fire officials have said the spree happened between 3 and 4 a.m.

Photo via Baltimore Police Department

This story has been updated.

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
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