Man charged after allegedly setting rental car on fire

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SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A trail camera and tattoos led state police to a suspect in the burning of a rental car in Somerset County. 

Robert T. Rigo, 57, of Stoystown, was arraigned Tuesday on felony charges of conspiracy to commit arson and criminal mischief stemming from the burning of a 2020 Ford Fusion rental car in early August, according to charges filed by state police in Somerset. 

The car was found burnt in a secluded soybean field in Quemahoning Township on Aug. 7 and a nearby trail camera provided state police with photos of the car arriving at just before 1 a.m. on Aug. 6.

A white male was pictured leaving at about 2 a.m. and although the camera didn’t capture images of Rigo’s face, visible tattoos were used to identify him as a suspect, state police noted. 

When troopers showed up at Rigo’s camper on Reading Mine Road about a week after the incident, he denied knowing anything about the burnt car until he was shown the trail camera photos.

State police said Rigo agreed to talk and told state police the renter of the Ford Fusion had picked him up and after they drove through the fields of several farms, there was talk of burning the car.  

Rigo said he got out and started walking and as he descended a hill, he could hear the car’s horn and he assumed the car was burning, according to the charges. 

Rigo was released on an unsecured $20,000 bond after his arraignment Tuesday morning by Magisterial District Judge Susan Mankamyer.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 28. 

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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