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Charges: Neighbor burns down Frankenstein's monster statue in Janesville

The statue will cost about $14,000 to rebuild.

A neighbor is accused of setting fire to a 20-foot-tall Frankenstein's monster statue in Janesville, Minnesota. 

Luke Duane Olson, 35, of Janesville, is charged with second-degree arson and first-degree property damage, both felonies, in connection to the June 12 incident. 

Olson is accused of starting the fiberglass statue that stands near the intersection of West Mill Street and South Main Street in Janesville on fire around 2 a.m. that day. 

The fire destroyed the entire structure, leaving only the metal frame standing near the Janesville Car Wash. Here's what it looked like before: 

Surveillance video from the car wash showed a man, later identified as Olson, between some of the cars in the salvage area at the Janesville Service Center. With a blanket over his head and a gas can in his hand he "milled around behind the cars for a short time" before heading toward the car wash, the criminal complaint says.

Olson then walked toward the Frankenstein's monster statue and attempted to light it on fire, then walked away, charges state. Then about 4 minutes later, he was spotted again on surveillance video with a blue tarp over his head, carrying a gas can and "some type of bottle."

He walked toward the statue and started the base of it on fire, then left, the complaint says. 

After watching the video, police suspected Olson and they later found a leather wallet on the ground in the salvage area that contained his driver's license. Police also found a blue tarp matching the one from the video in Olson's yard, which is about 0.1 miles away from the statue. 

Olson denied being involved in the fire and was arrested, the complaint says. The complaint does not detail any reasons why Olson lit the statue on fire. 

Police searched his home, finding a blanket that was similar to the one in the video, several red gas containers and shoes that matched the ones the suspect was wearing, which smelled of gasoline, charges note.

Investigators spoke to the owner of the statue, Mark Borneke, who estimated it would cost about $14,000 to rebuild or replace.

Borneke told FOX 9 he wants to get Frankenstein's monster rebuilt but has to find the artist's son, who is the only one with the original design sketch. He said there have been discussions about creating a Go Fund Me page to help pay for a new monster. 

According to the Mankato Free Press, Borneke bought the statue for his wife, Vicki Borneke, and brought it to Janesville in 2012, displaying it near an old train engine. 

The fiberglass and steel statue originally was a Vulcan on display at the 1988 Winter Carnival in St. Paul. Later, his torso was added to by 4 feet and his arms were repositioned to turn it into Frankenstein's monster, the paper says. It was part of two Halloween attractions in the Twin Cities before Borneke bought it. 

Since the arson, people in the community have been placing signs, flowers and tributes at the remains of the statue.

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