TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Police say that 31-year-old Matthew Wayne Ethridge and 34-year-old Jeremy David Penney were arrested early Monday morning, for breaking into and burning a Tampa Police cruiser.
Officers located a TPD cruiser in the parking lot of Shoresh David Messianic Synagogue of Tampa, with the vehicle’s front passenger window smashed, and the front passenger seat was engulfed in fire. During the investigation, both defendants were found to have prior arson arrests.
Ethridge,31, had a fresh cut on his hand which he stated he sustained while looking through a donation box on the property of the Synagogue. Blood was found on the front passenger door where the window was broken and fire was set. Officers questioned them further which lead to them admitting they broke into the car and set the fire.
Both were arrested and charged with Burglary of an Authorized Emergency Vehicle and Arson 2nd Degree. The damage to the vehicle is estimated at $3,000.
Ethridge is currently on probation in Florida for arson x4 and possession use hoax bomb.
The case remains under investigation. Updates will be provided as information becomes available.