47-year-old Julie Gagne from Barrington, Illinois and called the cops earlier this month to report that someone had stolen her SUV. The cops found it about a mile-and-a-half away from her house, on fire.

After an investigation, they figured out what really happened. The SUV hadn't been stolen, Julie torched it herself using a flamethrower that she'd bought online.

That's legal, by the way. You can legally buy a flamethrower in 49 of the 50 states. California's the only place where you can't have one.

But even though you can legally own a flamethrower in Illinois and, I guess, legally use it, you can't use it to set a car on fire and then falsely report the car as stolen.

Julie turned herself in last week, and she was charged with arson, disorderly conduct, and filing a false police report.

The police say they don't know her motive yet, although it sure sounds like an insurance scam. That, or someone who said, "I gotta test out my sweet new flamethrower!" and then panicked when the test worked a little too well.

Barrington Police Department

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