PBSO: Boca teen goes on joyride setting cars & American flags on fire

Nicholas DeSalvo
Nicholas DeSalvo

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies say a car full of people rode around several West Boca Raton neighborhoods and set cars and American flags on fire.

Dan Wantz remembered the frantic moments at 6 a.m. on August 3. "One of my neighbors comes pounding on my window saying, 'Your car's on fire,'" Wantz said.

Deputies have charged Nicholas DeSalvo with six counts of arson. "If the car had exploded, it would have taken out all these trailers," Wantz said.

Deputies pulled neighbors' surveillance cameras and saw a white Chrysler convertible with several people in it.

It matched the same car spotted the same morning near other similar fires in West Boca.

They traced the car to Nick DeSalvo's parents, determined he was driving with friends, and arrested him Wednesday. "Even when I was a kid, I never thought about doing stupid stuff like that," said Wantz.

No one at DeSalvo's home had anything to say.

Yvonne Lowenstein does. "If I ever got a hold of them, I would tear them apart, " said Lowenstein.

She now has a lock for her gas cap.

But mechanics have told her that the fuel injection lines are damaged from the early morning fire. She could be out $1,000 for repairs. "I figured that's great, another expense that I can't afford. You know? And I was really (upset)," she said.

In the court documents, DeSalvo denies setting the fires, saying he was only driving.

DeSalvo has been released from custody. The other two co-defendants have not been charged.

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