‘Jealous’ Winlock Man Accused of Setting Fire to Occupied Car in Downtown Centralia 


A Winlock man is facing arson and malicious mischief charges after he allegedly set a car on fire in downtown Centralia with someone inside. 

Case W. Van Kooten, 38, is accused of setting fire to a raft on top of a Subaru that was parked in the 110 block of South Tower Avenue. The owner of the Subaru was reportedly sleeping in the vehicle when he noticed the roof was on fire, according to court documents. He was able to safely exit the vehicle, but both the raft and the vehicle were completely destroyed. 

Detectives responded to the car fire just after 2:15 a.m. on July 16 and began investigating the incident as a possible arson.

Police contacted Van Kooten after identifying him in video footage from local businesses. 

When asked about the incident, Van Kooten allegedly admitted to starting the fire “as he was jealous of the relationship his girlfriend had with the owner of the Subaru,” according to court documents. 

While the incident reportedly occurred early on July 16, Lewis County Jail records indicate Van Kooten was booked into the jail on a separate case just after noon on July 15. 

Bail was set at $50,000 bail for that other case, and Judge James W. Lawler set the same amount for the new case. 

His next court appearance is an arraignment hearing scheduled for July 29. 


4 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Ron Hickey Aglance

Well, that hopefully will be prosecuted as a hate crime . Bahaha Go Lewis County...


Saturday, July 24
Ron Hickey Aglance

Ha, I've been denied my first Amendment Right .

Saturday, July 24

Isn't Winlock a bit far west to be so East Lewis County. Only in Lewis county does someone get jealous of a guy who sleeps in his car. Or pine after the woman who philanderizes with one. Just glad the guy is okay and not 18 months out from being discovered in Winlock by people logging......

Saturday, July 24
Paul Barwick

The government silenced you about something? That sounds interesting, please tell us more. At first read I thought that maybe the Chronicle had muzzled you somehow, but that of course would have nothing to do with the First Amendment, as that amendment prohibits only the government from infringing on free speech.

Original post:

"Ron Hickey Aglance

Ha, I've been denied my first Amendment Right ."

Sunday, July 25