Hopkins Police hope a $1,000 reward will generate the tip they need to catch a brazen arsonist who intentionally set a car on fire.
Surveillance video from the early morning hours of March 20 caught the man breaking out the rear window of a Ford Edge, then lighting an object on fire and tossing it inside the car. Within seconds, the vehicle’s interior ignites and the suspect runs off.
The suspect first approached the Edge around 2 a.m. as it was parked outside an apartment building on the 700 block of 11th Avenue S. He walked around the car, set something beside it then ducked behind a building. He came back and carried out the crime before running away toward the northeast, said Sgt. Mike Glassberg.
“This was pretty brazen,” Glassberg said, noting that the Westbrook area of the city doesn’t see many arson cases. “It was intended to cause damage, so we are concerned. We want to find the person responsible”
The Ford Edge was declared a total loss. Another vehicle parked nearby was not damaged.
The suspect possibly burned his hands, Glassberg said. The video shows him shaking his hand toward ground after tossing the lit object into the car. Checks with area hospitals didn’t yield any clues to the suspect’s identity, Glassberg said.
On Monday, the Hopkins Police Crime Fund announced the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. Anybody with information can call police at 952-938-8885.