Damaged Car

MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) - Someone is breaking into cars and starting fires in them. In one case, it cost the owner his car.

The Murfreesboro Fire Department said it happened twice in the same day. One on Monroe Street and another on First Avenue on Tuesday.

The moment Jonathan Nowlen opens his car door, you can smell smoke. You can see what's left of the driver's seat and the seat belt.

"Just that maliciousness, that evilness, that's probably what bothered me most," Jonathan Nowlen, the victim said.

A burnt piece of paper inside the 2007 Nissan Xterra tells part of the story. Nowlen said the fire marshal told him the damage could've been worse if the vandals didn't close the door.

"In the middle of the night, it would've just been this engulfing fireball," Nowlen said.

His girlfriend is the one who found the car damaged on Tuesday. She noticed what looked like some sort of tint on the windows.

"I get a phone call and she says somebody burned my car," Nowlen said.

It's now been totaled by their insurance company. Nowlen said the $8,000 in damages cost more than the car.

They had to buy a new car that night.

He worries this could happen to someone else.

"It seems like if you live near campus, if you live near Middle Tennessee and Mercury, you need to be aware and you need to be alert," Nowlen said.

It's a warning Nowlen hopes will help as investigators look into the case.

"By the end, all you can really do is pack up and keep rolling and try to move on," Nowlen said.

Arson investigators said they aren't sure if the two cases are connected. They're trying to piece together any clues about who might be responsible.

So far, no one has been arrested.

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Cameron Taylor is a national Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist who joined the News 4 team in December 2018.

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