YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An Englewood woman and her boyfriend were in the city lockup tonight, charged with torching her car in order to collect on the insurance.
Katima McCullough, 32, “was behind on car payments and dodging repossession,” Detective Capt. Timothy Torell told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight.
Police and fire responded to the fire call around 1 p.m. Sunday and found McCullough’s 2007 Nissan Murano ablaze on Elmore Avenue in the city’s Fourth Ward, Torell said.
“No one was in or around the vehicle and the responding firefighters immediately saw signs of an intentional setting,” the captain said.
McCullough “initially denied any knowledge of the fire and then made an insurance claim,” he said.
City police detectives and Fire Department investigators teamed up with members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Arson Squad.
Besides learning McCullough’s history with the car, they canvassed the area and recovered surveillance video from nearby buildings, Torell said.
It showed her and her 33-year-old boyfriend, Armar Moore, running from the scene of the fire, he said.
McCullough is charged with arson and insurance fraud. Her bail was set at $35,000. Moore was charged with failing to report a fire and hindering apprehension. His bail is $5,000.
They were to be transferred to the Bergen County Jail tonight, Torell said.
“Every time you or me write out a check to our car insurance company, to an extent we pay for false claims like this one,” the captain told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “The investigators on this case did a great job.”
MUGSHOTS: Courtesy ENGLEWOOD PD