• An officer from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and deputies from the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office join town employees outside a Dixie Avenue home in Callahan Thursday. Two vehicles on Dixie Avenue, three on Brandies Avenue and a sixth vehicle in Hilliard were targeted by an attempted arsonist and thief.

Vandal attempts six vehicle fires

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating arson and burglary attempts to six unlocked vehicles located in Callahan and Hilliard. 

The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office was also on scene to investigate the incidents that occurred Jan. 30 between 7:30 and 10 p.m.

Callahan resident Doris Brewer Horne discovered around noon Thursday that someone had tampered with her 2006 Honda Ridgeline. 

“I went to open the front (driver’s side) door and it wouldn’t open,” she told the Record. “I tried the back door and it opened.” 

Horne said she could smell smoke coming from the vehicle. 

None of the contents were missing, according to Sheriff Bill Leeper. 

“But the suspect attempted to set fire to the front seat as well as the door panel,” he wrote Thursday afternoon. “No further damage was noted.” 

A second vehicle on Dixie Avenue was also affected. 

“Nothing was missing from the vehicle, but the suspect attempted to set fire to the front seat – but was unsuccessful. However, the carport was set on fire with minimal damage,” Leeper noted. 

Three vehicles parked outside Cochrane’s Collision Center on Brandies Avenue were burglarized, but nothing was missing. 

“The suspect attempted to burn the seats inside each vehicle,” Leeper wrote. “No other damage was noted.”

In Hilliard, attempts were made to set fire to a seat inside a vehicle on New Oak Street. Twenty-five CDs were reported missing from the vehicle, according to Leeper. 

In an update Monday, the sheriff wrote, “There were similar reports in Jacksonville on U.S. 1 around the ADESA auto auction business, so (we’re) looking into it to see if they are related.” 

Anyone who noticed suspicious activity or has information about the incidents should call the NCSO at 904-225-5174.

Nassau County Record

Nassau County Record
P.O. Box 609
Callahan, FL 32011

Physical Address
617317 Brandies Avenue
Callahan, FL 32011

Phone: (904) 879-2727
Fax: (904) 879-5155