Walter Edward Stolper, 72, was arrested Thursday after he plotted to burn down his apartment and its Jewish residents
A jaded 72-year-old Miami resident plotted to burn down his apartment – and take all its Jewish residents down with it – after he was evicted from the building.
However Walter Edward Stolper’s plans were foiled after police received a tip of his suspicious behavior.
A closer look at his storage room revealed the shocking evidence behind his plan with shelves of 28 gallons of gasoline he planned to ignite, sulfur powder and potassium nitrate.
Inside his apartment he had two electric fans he purchased to boost the flames, as well as swastikas and Nazi books.
Police entered his home and arrested Stolper on Thursday.
He was charged with attempted murder and attempted arson.
‘We are confident the work of our detectives prevented an imminent crisis at 5601 Collins Ave.’ police said Friday morning.
Police found a storage unit connected to Stolpher that held 28 containers of gasoline, sulfur powder, and potassium nitrate, the evidence pictured above
Stolper had told a resident he planned to ‘burn down the building with all the f****** Jews’
Stolper is believed to have plotted his fiery revenge after he was served eviction papers. He had also expressed angry and aggressive behavior towards condo residents on several occasions, according to the Miami Herald.
Witness Luis Diaz said that Stolper told him on Thursday he was ‘going to burn down the building with all the f***ing Jews’.
Stolper said he planned to fill plastic containers with gasoline then pour the fuel down the building’s main line and set it alight.
He said he even purchased the two electrical fans ‘to fan the flames and cause maximum amount of damage’.
He also allegedly purchased padlocks, painted them red, and planned to lock the apartment’s fire hoses to prevent the fire department from accessing them.
Condo resident Viannette Justino told police that residents ‘could smell a strong odor of gasoline in the hallways and elevators.’
It is not clear why the apartment’s association wanted him removed.
On Friday Miami Beach Police announced their arrest and shared images of the evidence
They found sulfur powder and potassium nitrate, pictured above, in his storage room
The gasoline and chemicals would be used to start a raging fire. He also bought two fans to boost the flames and padlocks to lock the hoses from being used by the Fire Department
Miami Beach officers arrived on the scene at 5:45pm on Friday where they found Stolper in the parking garage pushing two plastic containers using a shopping cart that reeked of gasoline.
In the garbage chute dumpster police found eight plastic containers filled with gasoline that had been thrown down.
Gasoline was also poured down the chute starting from the 15th floor.
Stolper let police search his unit where they found the two electrical fans, swastikas and Nazi books.
‘I bought the gas to make a small barbecue,’ Stolper told authorities on his gasoline.
Police believe he made his burning plans after he was triggered by an eviction notice and became angry towards his Jewish neighbors
After he was jailed, police tweeted of Stolper’s arrest.
‘His motivation appears to be triggered by an upcoming eviction and anger towards Jewish neighbors,’ Miami Beach police tweeted.
The arrest led to praise by the Anti-Defamation League.
‘We commend the Miami Beach Police Department, led by Chief Daniel J. Oates, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for taking this tip seriously, and for the swift investigation which undoubtedly thwarted a potential mass-casualty event,’ Sheri Zvi, ADL Florida regional director, said in a statement.
‘Based on available public information about the incident, we urge the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to take a hard look at reclassifying and prosecuting this incident as a hate crime,’ she added.