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Dearborn Heights man accused of setting Inkster strip mall fire, targeting Middle Eastern people

Nicholas Diedo allegedly set multiple fires

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. – A Dearborn Heights man is facing federal arson charges for allegedly targeting people of Middle Eastern descent. 

Prosecutors said 35-year old Nicholas Diedo used containers of gasoline to set fire to a strip mall in Inkster. 

Diedo is also linked to another fire at that same strip mall in 2018 and a string of other fires in the area, officials said. 

Federal agents said the clue that led them to Diedo was surveillance video from Feb. 3. They said the man in the video allegedly used containers of gasoline to set the 315 North Strip Mall in Inkster on fire. 

Nicholas Diedo is accused of a string of arsons including two fires at a strip mall in Inkster. (WDIV)
Nicholas Diedo is accused of a string of arsons including two fires at a strip mall in Inkster. (WDIV)

Local 4, obtained the 11-page indictment, where police identified Diedo as the man in the video. 

Officials say for months he allegedly targeted Middle Eastern people, but agents said this is not the first incident. He’s accused of setting several fires in a nearby Dearborn Heights neighborhood. Police said he also set five fires 1 mile of his home in April 2018. The victims were all Middle Eastern. 

During the Inkster incident earlier this year, Diedo tried to throw bricks through a window before setting the building on fire, police said.

Agents said it was his walk that caught their attention. He walked with a long stride and leaned his head back with his chest out. He also had an unique swing in his arms.

If he’s convicted of the crimes, he could face up to 20 years in prison. 


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