By Shirin Rajaee

VACAVILLE (CBS13) – Just after 9 p.m. Monday night, a car parked on Williams street near Merchant went up in flames in front of a Vacaville gas station.

“I’m ashamed of whoever did this,” said resident Claire Neely.

“It’s sad, it’s disappointing, that someone would do something like this, in this day and age,” said  Robert Holguin

Investigators soon realized the vandals had left a disturbing message.

“It’s indicative of a hate crime and we take it very seriously,” said Lt. Matt Lydon with Vacaville Police.

The letters K-K-K were written in black on both sides of the vehicle. It’s a possible hate crime that’s rare for the city.

“This is very uncharacteristic for this neighborhood and Vacaville in general,” said William O’Conner who works across the street. “I’m thankful that no one got hurt, and I think it’s a disgrace, people that did it are morons,” said Claire Neely.

Police are investigating the fire as an arson and believe it somehow started from inside the vehicle.

“We believe the vehicle was secured at the time the owner left it, so we’re not sure how a potential suspect gained entry into the interior,” said Lt. Lydon.

The car was towed away Tuesday afternoon. Its owner did not wish to speak on camera and is uncertain if he is the target.

“He didn’t witness anyone approach the vehicle and he couldn’t provide any suspect leads at this time, of a motive for this. or problems with anyone that may be responsible for this,” said Lydon.

The ground still blackened and the scars of the fire can be seen going up this telephone pole. And now the big question is who did this and why?

“I hope that they get caught and that they have to reimburse the people of the car. And I hope they get a little jail time and a lot of community service,” said Neely.

This is a serious crime – and whoever is responsible could face felony arson and felony hate crime charges. There is no suspect description at this time, but investigators are combing through evidence and surveillance videos from nearby businesses that will hopefully lead them to their suspects.

If you have any information, contact the Vacaville Police Department.


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