Del City woman starts a house fire, snitches on herself

We’ve covered a lot of ‘wacky crime’ over the years here at TLO, but the most embarrassing category are people who basically do something really bad and dumb and end up telling on themselves.

Enter a modern-day Hatfield-McCoy feud with less inbreeding and moonshine but more high-tech surveillance. From KFOR:

DEL CITY, Okla. –  An apparent feud between homeowners led to an alleged arsonist setting fire to her neighbor’s home, and the alleged crime was caught on cameras that she owned.

“She caught herself on camera setting the fire,” said Chief Brandon Pursell, with the Del City Fire Department.

On Monday, Del City fire officials released images from surveillance video shot with the alleged arsonist’s own camera.

See, we’ve got rule number one being broken here, and that is: ‘Thou Shalt Not Snitch On Thyself.’ If you’ve got those fancy surveillance cameras set up and all they’ve done is show you committing crime, maybe you’re GOING ABOUT EVERYTHING COMPLETELY WRONG.

Around 2:45 p.m. on June 10, Del City firefighters were called to a house fire. They were able to knock down the huge flames in the garage by fighting the fire from the perimeter of the house.

“We knew it was a condemned house,” Pursell said.

Once the flames were out, officials said fire investigators took a closer look. Del City investigators learned there was a feud between the burnt home’s owner and the lady living next door.

“Things started adding up, being suspicious,” Pursell said.

Investigators noticed the woman had cameras in the area next to her neighbor. She gave consent for investigators to look at the password-protected recorded footage.

Referring back to rule number one here, how did she think this was gonna turn out? Cops would look at the footage and just ignore when a person threw a firebomb over the fence roughly EXACTLY BEFORE the fire started? “Nothing suspicious here, chief, let’s keep looking for the perp.”

Thanks to help from the Oklahoma City Police Department, Del City fire officials found pictures of 59-year-old Annie Durham allegedly throwing something on fire over her fence into the neighbor’s open side door.

“It’s not a Molotov cocktail, but it’s a stick with a rag or towel wrapped around it. It had some lighter fluid poured on it,” Pursell said.

News 4 actually spoke with Durham on June 10 after the fire had been put out.

“All I know is I was in the house, and I saw smoke but I was like, ‘okay, maybe everything is okay. They will put it out or whatever,'” she said.

Fire officials were anxious to get a look at the person in News 4’s video.

“We knew that there was a neighbor that did an interview with you all, trying to place that person with who was seen in the surveillance footage. And, by looking at both of them, it does appear that that is the same person,” Pursell said.

Del City fire officials said Durham has been charged with second-degree arson and has been booked into the Oklahoma County Jail.

Neighbors tell KFOR that the burnt house had been home to drug addicts and vagrants. They said police and fire crews had been to the house multiple times over the years.

Durham said she has lived in her home 30 years and claims the house was a problem, the only one in the area.

It’s gotta be frustrating living next to a house like that. I know plenty of people who have lived near very obvious and apparent drug houses, where sketchy figures are coming and going all hours of the night, break-ins start to happens in the neighborhood, etc. But firebombing said drug house isn’t quite the way to resolve the problem. And if you’re gonna take matters (very illegally) into your own hands, be damn sure not to leave a video trail behind to tell on yourself.