NEW PORT RICHEY — A man inside the mobile home awoke in the early hours of Tuesday morning, deputies say, to see Ronald Joseph fleeing from his yard.
As the man walked outside to investigate about 2:45 a.m., Joseph jumped into a gold Land Rover and drove away, a Pasco sheriff's report states. The man found two pillows and cloth under his home set on fire. He grabbed a hose and put the fire out.
The Land Rover appeared once more at 11761 Purdue St. while the man was dousing the flames, the report states. This time, Joseph, 44, set fire to the man's boat in the front yard. The report does not list damage to the boat but says the first fire damaged a water line under the mobile home.
Deputies pulled over the Land Rover at the intersection of Moon Lake Road and Banbury Drive. They searched the SUV and found a straw containing an opium derivative in Joseph's pocket.
Joseph, of 9111 Tillinghast Drive in Tampa, was booked in the Land O'Lakes jail on charges of grand theft, arson, possession of a controlled substance a paraphernalia and violation of probation. He remained there Wednesday without bail.