Local homeless man sets car ablaze


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A local homeless man has been charged after allegedly setting fire to a vehicle following a drug sale.

Jerry Titus, 57, was charged June 23 with second-degree arson.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, officers responded to an east Iowa City residence after receiving a telephone call from a woman associated with the Iowa City Shelter House.

The woman reportedly had a recorded conversation with Titus in which he admitted that he had set her vehicle on fire in order to get back at a drug dealer who had cheated him during a recent drug sale.

Titus told the woman he believed the vehicle belonged to the drug dealer, not her.

The victim also photographed Titus with her phone, the complaint said.

Responding officers were able to identify Titus as the accused using booking photos and the photo taken from the phone. 

The woman’s vehicle was valued at $1,000.

Second-degree arson is a Class-C felony.

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