Man arrested months after VB military family’s car set on fire

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Months after a car fire that capped a series of terrorizing events for a Virginia Beach military family, authorities say they’ve finally found the man responsible.

Fire investigators say 45-year-old Theodore Purnell Olsen, of Virginia Beach, was arrested around 11 a.m. Thursday.

He’s been charged with one count of felony arson to personal property and one count of misdemeanor destruction of property in connection to the fire in the driveway of the family’s Entrada Drive home.

Theodore Purnell Olsen

The family told 10 On Your Side in August 2019 that the car fire was the culmination of several scary events that went back to 2018.

They included nails found in the driveway, graffiti painted on the family’s garage and rocks being thrown through the home’s windows.

Surveillance cameras were able to capture both a man in a mask and an SUV driving by the home multiple times.

Graffitti on the family’s garage

Graffitti on the family’s car

Authorities didn’t have additional details in the case in a press release Friday, but said Olsen’s arrest came after months of work between the Virginia Beach Fire Department Fire Marshal’s Office and members of the Virginia Beach Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit.

The case is still under active investigation.

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