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Cruiser torched outside police station

Cruser Arson 2
NBC News
Police SUV destroyed by an accused arsonist

Surveillance camera captures accused arsonist in action

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (KYMA, KSWT, KECY/NBC News) - A cruiser goes up in flames right in front of a southern California police station, and a surveillance cam catches the accused arsonist in the act.

It happened early Thursday morning in Hawthorne, California.

The dramatic video shows a man walk up to the police SUV, light a fire, and then douse the vehicle with some sort of accelerant. Moments later it bursts into flames.

You can see the suspect running at first, then he slows down and calmly walks away.

Investigators say the man seen on the video is 24-year-old Elmer Maldonado. Police arrested him a short distance from the crime scene. No word on a possible motive for the fiery attack.

The blaze destroyed the police SUV, but no one got hurt.

California News / Crime / Video

Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis recently returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director, but she has a long history with the Desert Southwest.

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