Albuquerque man charged with arson after car set on fire at local dealership


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man is now being charged with setting his car on fire at a local dealership for the insurance money. It’s a crime investigators let him deny until they let him know they had a file on him. Matthew Walker’s car was at the dealership for repairs back in late 2019, but his insurance company wasn’t going to cover the claim.

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Court documents say Walker set the fire so he could collect the insurance. During the questioning, Walker says he spent the entire day with a friend.

Questioner: “Where did you go after that?”
Walker: “Here.”
Questioner: “You come straight here?”
Walker: “Yeah I came home.”

But then, he started changing his story.

Walker: “No, I did not come here, I went to my girlfriend’s house at the time.”

Insurance fraud investigators with the state then tell Walker his cell phone was pinged at the parking lot at the time of the explosion and surveillance cameras caught him running away from the explosion moments after it happened.

Questioner: “Right there is the car dealership. See the little flame? That’s exactly where the fire was, this is the cell phone tower putting you in multiple spots in the parking lot.”

Investigators try to reason with Walker, hoping he’ll confess. “It’s not the crime of the century, man. It’s really not. Everything is going to work out. Right now, we’re in a position to get the truth of what happened,” the investigator says.

Instead, Walker cuts off the conversation, saying he’s feeling sick. “You don’t understand. I’m hypoglycemic, I’m about to pass out,” Walker says.

The fire also damaged three other cars. Walker is being charged with arson and filing a false claim. If convicted, he could face up to eight years behind bars.

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