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Tampa man accused of setting house fire to kill woman he stole jewelry from

John Alan Petrey, 55, of Tampa, first was arrested July 18 in connection with a July 3 theft, police said. Then on Monday, he was arrested in an arson fire July 9 at the same home. [Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]
John Alan Petrey, 55, of Tampa, first was arrested July 18 in connection with a July 3 theft, police said. Then on Monday, he was arrested in an arson fire July 9 at the same home. [Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]
Published Jul. 30, 2019

TAMPA — A man faces charges including attempted murder, arson and theft for setting fire to the home of an older Tampa woman where he had stolen jewelry a week before, police said.

John Alan Petrey, 55, who is unemployed and list only Tampa as an address, first was arrested July 18 in connection with the July 3 theft, police said. Rings were stolen from the woman and later pawned.

Then on Monday, Petrey was arrested in an arson fire that broke out around 4 a.m. July 9 at the same home, in the 6200 block of S Church Avenue.

Petrey poured gasoline in the hallway and, knowing that the woman who lived there was asleep, set it on fire, police said.

The fire spread quickly as the woman threw down bedding to dampen the flames and managed to escape, suffering a second-degree burn to her foot. Firefighters brought the flames under control within minutes.

Petrey was being held without bail at the Hillsborough County Jail.

He is charged with attempted felony murder, first degree arson of a dwelling, arson with injury, theft from a person 65 or older, dealing in stolen property and providing false information on a pawnbroker form.

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