TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Tyler fire investigators arrested an 89-year-old man on Wednesday in connection with a recent structure fire that occurred at a vacant building.
Kermit Francis Gabel, 89, was charged with first degree felony arson and booked in the Smith County Jail.
According to the Tyler Fire Marshal’s Office, the fire occurred last Friday, November 6, in the 200 block of S. Beckham Avenue.
Departments were called to the scene shortly after 11 p.m. last Friday night and were able to clear the scene around 2 a.m. Saturday.
The Tyler Fire Marshal’s Office will continue to investigate the number of recent fires in vacant or abandoned structures, and will release more information as new details are available.
Right now, fire officials say there are no other incidents being investigated by the Tyler Fire Marshal’s Office.
No one was injured in the fire.
Officials have not said whether a fire that occurred Friday, November 13 was connected to this arrest.
Gabel was also accused of multiple crimes in Ohio. He was known as a ‘serial cat burglar’ and was dubbed the ‘Silver Burglar’
His crime sprees date back to the 40s and early 50s, with him being busted in Cleveland, Ohio in 1979, 1991 and again in 2007.
In his numerous convictions, Gabel burglarized homes, stole jewelry, furs and silver. Prosecutors say he then arranged for the items to be shipped to buyers and then had his earnings transferred into bank accounts under another name, Roy Post.
One his convictions in Texas in the 80s left him on parole for life. In fact, a judge wrote in a previous ruling that Gabel made a living by stealing other people’s property.