This morning another four vehicles were torched in the Mira Mesa section of San Diego. That ups the count to 26 vehicles torched in the last two weeks. In all, eight locations have been targeted, mostly condominium units. So, why are cars being torched?
How long have these arson incidents been happening?
The latest arson incidents happened at two different locations with two cars torched in each area. They were set about an hour apart. The carports where this has happened have video surveillance footage of the incidents.
No arrests have been made
San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team says no arrests have been made, but the investigation is ongoing. A vehicle has been found that SDPD believes is linked to the arson incidents. At another scene, a man that owns the Toyota Highlander matching surveillance footage was detained for questioning.
Once the fires are set they spread rather quickly because of the low roofs on the covered carports. “Within, like three to five minutes, the entire carport was on fire,” Alvin Amar told 7 San Diego News. “It was terrifying, and it looked like a war zone.”
The arson fires are being started by propane or butane torches
Amar was one of the arsonist’s victims. Estimates put the losses so far at over $600,000 for both the carports and vehicles torched. Investigators believe the arsonist is using a propane or butane torch to start the fires.
The night of Amar’s loss, December 22, 17 other cars were also torched at four other locations. “I hope you get some help, and I hope you stop this before somebody dies,” Amar said. A week later, more cars were torched.
One fire jumped to a tree but luckily no injuries resulted
One arson incident jumped to a nearby tree which went up in flames. That one had the potential to start the condos themselves on fire. Happening in the early morning hours when most people sleep, this could have been far worse. Luckily, there have been no injuries reported from the string of fires.
“Disbelief,” one victim said. “My car is on fire. I honestly laughed, after this kind of year. You know, 2021, ending it with a literal bang, you can say.” If you think you might have information, you can contact San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team at 619-236-6815. You can also give anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers at 858-580-8477.