Updated: Wednesday, 23 Jan 2013, 11:54 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 23 Jan 2013, 5:19 PM EST
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - One Terre Haute man charged with arson told police he's responsible for a lot of damage.
Investigators last week arrested Paul Hoopingarner III, 27, of Terre Haute.
Hoopingarner is accused of setting fire to at least two cars and several homes in Vigo County.
He's charged with six counts of Arson and one count of Auto Theft.
Arson investigator Norm Loudermilk has been working this case since early July.
A confidential informant came forward in September last year. That informant told police about Paul Hoopingarner III.
After an interview with police, Hoopingarner admitted to starting several fires, admitting the first fire he set was in June of 2008.
He told police he torched a house on 6th Avenue in Terre Haute that month.
That same month, he stole a vehicle and lit the gasoline on fire.
In November of that year, he lit two fires in an apartment building on 9th Street.
Last year, he set a couch on fire in a home on Beech Street. That fire spread to the house next to it as well.
His final act was an apartment building where he once lived.
Investigators conducted surveillance and used information from the informant to make a case against Hoopingarner.
Before they could get a warrant, police arrested Hoopingarner on separate incident of burglary.
Loudermilk said he's not used to seeing this many fires set by one individual.
“This is a unique situation, because this spanned such a long period of time,” said Loudermilk.
Loudermilk said this is the type of behavior you see from serial killers.
“This is what you see across the nation in law enforcement. Where the person responsible for different types of criminal acts, serial burglars, serial rapists, serial murderers and serial arsonists, [sic] that same type of behavior there. They commit a crime, that is their euphoric event, then they calm down. Then, they build back up to a level of frustration where they have to act out and commit another crime,” said Loudermilk.
Loudermilk said the suspect claims he is a pyromaniac.
“Seems to me like he would get intoxicated and go out and set these fires regularly,” said Loudermilk.
Hoopingarner confessed to all of the arsons.
Authorities estimate Hoopingarner caused around $500,000 in damage.
He's scheduled again in court February 11.
Opinions that are derogatory, attack other users or are offensive in nature may be removed. WTHI is not responsible for the content posted in this comment section. We reserve the right to remove any offensive or off-topic remark or thread. To mark a comment for review by a moderator, click "Report Abuse."