Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Arson at BMW Dealership?

Surveillance images were released Thursday of a man sought by police in their investigation into five vehicles that were set ablaze at a BMW dealership in Santa Monica.

Officers responded to the dealership, which is located in the 1100 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, late Wednesday night after receiving a report that several cars were on fire, according to police.

Video from the scene showed flames rising several feet above the vehicles and then engulfing them as firefighters arrived. Multiple explosions could be heard.

The Fire Department was called to the scene at 10:40 p.m. to find three cars well involved, fire Chief Mike McElvaney said.

Witnesses said they saw the arsonist pour liquid onto the vehicles and light them ablaze.

Four used vehicles were completely damaged and one was partially damaged, according to a news release issued by police Thursday afternoon. The total loss was estimated to be $250,000.

Police released surveillance images from a nearby gas station of a man they described as a "possible suspect," said Sgt. Rudy Camarena of the Santa Monica Police Department.

The man allegedly purchased $4 worth of gas from a station two blocks away from the dealership about 20 minutes before the fire was set, Camarena stated.


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