Miami-Dade County

He was mad about money so he set his ex-business partner’s truck on fire, police say

Lorenzo Jimenez
Lorenzo Jimenez Miami-Dade Corrections

The sound of a smoke detector jarred him out of sleep.

He couldn’t find the source until he looked outside and saw his work truck on fire.

He quickly grabbed his wife and three children and ran outside to find heavy flames spreading to his wife’s car and the front of the house.

It didn’t take police long to figure out what caused the blaze that destroyed his work truck and caused heavy damage to the other vehicle.

On Tuesday, police arrested the victim’s former business partner, Lorenzo Jimenez, on charges of first- and second-degree arson. According to his arrest report, Lorenzo admitted to setting the fire because he was angry over money and had a “chemical dependency.”

“The defendant willfully and maliciously used fire to destroy property,” an officer wrote in Jimenez’s arrest report.

The unidentified victim owns and operates a construction company and was introduced to Jimenez a year ago through a mutual friend, police say.

“From the onset, the defendant misrepresented himself as a police officer,” an officer wrote in the report.

In September 2018, the victim accepted Jimenez as a business partner. The victim was not happy and ended the partnership soon after.

Then on June 14, according to the report, the victim’s cousin was heading to Walmart when he saw Jimenez’s vehicle parked around the corner from the victim’s home, which is in the 9000 block of Southwest 161st Avenue.

Soon after, he got a call from the victim’s wife telling him their cars had been set ablaze.

After the fire, police found that the incident was captured on a neighbor’s surveillance system. With the help of the video, detectives were able to identify Jimenez as a suspect, police said.

Jimenez was taken in for questioning Tuesday and “admitted setting the fire because he was upset with the victim due to a dispute over money,” according to the report.

The officer added: “He also stated that he has a chemical dependency which caused him to act irrationally while under the influence of alcohol.”

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.