Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Arsonist of BLC Automotive Sentenced to More Than 5 Years in Federal Prison
Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan has sentenced Steven Villareal (30, Jacksonville) to five years and three months in federal prison for the arson of BLC Automotive on Blanding Boulevard. He was also ordered to pay BLC Automotive restitution in the amount of $30,000. Villareal pleaded guilty on February 29, 2016.
According to court documents, on February 17, 2014, Villareal entered BLC Automotive at approximately 3:00 a.m. Once inside, he used an acetylene torch to cut into a safe from which he stole a large sum of cash. He then used an accelerant to start a fire inside the business. An officer from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office saw the fire and alerted the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, who responded quickly and extinguished the fire. The interior of BLC Automotive was badly damaged, but the structure survived the fire.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the State Fire Marshal, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Talbot.