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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Marion County Arson Arrest
- Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of
Jessie James Kropp on one count of Arson in Marion County for allegedly
lighting a mortar-style firework in his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle, shattering the
back window and causing extensive fire damage. Kropp also attempted to avoid
arrest by initiating a high-speed vehicle chase before being taken into custody
by law enforcement.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "Arson is a dangerous and deadly crime that will not be tolerated in Florida. Let it be known that if you commit arson in our state, you will be caught and you will be punished to the full extent of the law. This crime not only caused thousands of dollars in property damage, but it put innocent Floridians and first responders in danger after the suspect fled the scene, initiating a high-speed police chase. I’m thankful this alleged arsonist is off the streets and appreciate the hard work of everyone involved in this arrest, including my arson detectives and the Marion County Sheriff's Office. We will continue to strive to keep Florida safe and protect your property every single day."
On January 1, 2023, Marion County Sheriff's Office requested the assistance of the CFO’s Bureau of Fire, Arson and Explosives Investigations (BFAEI) regarding a vehicle fire in Fort McCoy, Florida. The investigation revealed the back window of the vehicle was broken after a mortar-style firework was ignited inside. The vehicle owner confirmed his adult daughter recently ended a relationship with the suspect, Jessie James Kropp, who was observed running away from the vehicle during the early stages of the fire. Sheriff’s deputies soon located Kropp in a vehicle as it was traveling west on County Road 318 and attempted to perform a traffic stop. After activating their emergency lights, Kropp continued traveling at a high speed, leading to a backup deputy deploying ‘stop sticks’ to safely disarm his vehicle. Kropp fled his disabled vehicle and, after a brief foot pursuit, he climbed an oak tree armed with a machete in an attempt to avoid arrest. He was eventually taken into custody without harm by Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Jessie James Kropp was arrested on January 2, 2023 and booked into the Marion County Jail on charges including second degree arson, motor vehicle theft, and resisting arrest. Kropp faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.