The Unity man whose mobile home was twice set on fire last month told fire investigators he had just one enemy in the world: a woman who allegedly stole more than $10,000 from him.
Derek Creasy, 38, who was arrested and charged last week with attempted murder of the Unity man and two counts of arson for the fires set at the home, is that woman’s brother.
Creasy’s girlfriend told police last week that she remembered him and his sister, Danielle Creasy, joking a few months ago about burning the man’s house down, according to an affidavit filed by Investigator Larry Morrill of the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Creasy’s bail was set at $50,000 cash because of the serious charges and his lengthy record with prior convictions of burglaries and thefts, according to the Republican Journal. He remained in custody Monday at Knox County Jail in Rockland.
The first fire at 30 Turner Court in Unity was set in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Dec. 22, Morrill wrote. That fire, which caused just $500 or so in damage to the mobile home, was noticed by relatives of the homeowner. As they were passing by on their way to work, they saw footprints in the fresh snow leading in and out of the driveway. The homeowner’s brother-in-law followed the prints and discovered that someone had tried to set the right front corner of the mobile home on fire.
The brother-in-law went into the home, which smelled of burned plastic, and woke up the homeowner by telling him someone had tried to set his house on fire.
After that, the homeowner called police, telling them he had been asleep and alone that night, and did not have any smoke detectors in his house. He also told them about his history with Danielle Creasy. A year ago, he noticed she had stolen about $10,700 from his checking account, which he then reported to the police. On Dec. 3, Danielle Creasy agreed to a deferred disposition for theft, according to a clerk at the Waldo Judicial Center.
“[The victim] thought this may be the reason for the arson,” Morrill wrote.
Investigators followed similar footprints, made by a person wearing rubber lugged soles, which seemed to have come from a cannabis shop located close to Turner Court. The owner of the shop allowed Morrill to view security camera footage, and Morrill saw that at about 5 a.m. a vehicle drove into the yard and parked. Less than half an hour later, the vehicle left, headed towards Unity village.
A few days later, on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 26, the second fire happened. The homeowner had been sitting in his pickup truck parked next to his mobile home in order to keep an eye on the property. But he fell asleep.
“[He] said he woke up to some heat on the back of his neck and subsequently discovered his trailer on fire behind him,” Morrill wrote.
The man ran down his driveway, hoping to catch the arsonist, but did not. He also found that three tires on his truck had been cut. The second fire caused significant damage, and left the home uninhabitable.
While investigating, police learned that the theft of the money was widely known around the community. They also learned that Derek Creasy was dating a woman who works at The Depot Store, and that security camera footage showed he had dropped her off or picked her up close to the time the fires were set.
Police are still investigating a third fire in Unity last month, this one set on Monday, Dec. 28 at the United Methodist Church on Depot Street. Officials found that someone had used a cement block to break a rear basement window in the church and set a fire in the basement, Morrill wrote in the report.
On Wednesday, Dec. 30, police executed a search warrant at Creasy’s home, where they seized a Toyota Camry, liquid in a gas container, a buck knife and brown work boots with a sole tread pattern similar to the tracks found in the snow at the first fire scene, among other items.
Creasy initially told police he denied setting a fire and that he didn’t even know who the mobile home owner was, although the homeowner had lived with Danielle Creasy. Eventually Creasy admitted “that he knew of him,” Morrill wrote.