JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. — An Indianapolis man has been arrested for allegedly setting multiple cars on fire in Marion and Johnson counties.
26-year-old Elijah Houk was booked into the Johnson County Jail for arson on Feb. 22. Houk also faces three counts of arson in Marion County.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Johnson County Superior Court 2 on Jan. 26, the case dates back to early January. On Jan. 4, the Greenwood Police Department responded to reports that a vehicle was on fire in the 1100 block of Standish Drive around 2:45 a.m.
Officers discovered a gold 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe that was completely covered in flames. Due to the vehicle’s proximity to the residence, all residents were forced to evacuate until the flames could be brought under control.
The vehicle was registered to Lorris Holt, one of the residents inside the home at the time the fire was started. Holt initially told Greenwood PD that he could not think of anyone who would want to do this to him.
Holt eventually revealed that he and Houk had been having issues as a result of Holt spending time with Houk’s ex-girlfriend. Holt denied that his relationship with the woman was romantic and told officers the two were just friends.
Holt also alleged that Houk had been stalking and harassing the woman since they ended their relationship.
Holt claimed that when Houk found out that he had been spending time with his ex-girlfriend, Houk texted Holt allegedly saying, “You foul.”
Greenwood PD did not locate any incendiary devices during an initial investigation on the scene and requested a wrecker through Johnson County dispatch.
Once the vehicle had been moved onto the wrecker, officers found a fire log with a strong gasoline smell underneath the vehicle.
The PC says Holt received a phone call from the woman identified as Houk’s ex-girlfriend while officers were still at the Greenwood address collecting evidence. The woman explained that two vehicles in her driveway had also been set on fire.
The woman told officers that she had filed for a protection order from Houk on Jan. 3 because he had been stalking and threatening her.
The Indianapolis Fire Department received calls on Jan. 4 around 3:38 a.m. that a vehicle was on fire in the 2300 block of Cole Wood Court, according to a Marion County probable cause affidavit filed on Jan. 10. IFD found three vehicles that were set on fire upon arrival. After reducing the flames, IFD ruled it an intentional criminal act.
As the investigation into what caused the fires continued, police obtained search warrants to access Houk’s cell phone records. The records revealed that he was in the areas around the same time when the fires broke out.
Houk was previously being held in custody at Marion County Jail prior to his arrest in Johnson County.
Houk’s bond has been set at $1,200.