Mar 13, 2015 6:40 AM EDTUpdated: Mar 13, 2015
NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) — Authorities are investigating two cases of arson after a pair of police cruisers were set on fire in the driveways of two South Florida homes.
Police arrived on the scene just after 5:30 a.m. Friday, to find a Hallandale Beach Police cruiser on fire in the driveway of a home just off of Ives Dairy Road and Northeast 206th Street. A Miami-Dade Police cruiser was found charred in the driveway of another home just a block away.
Investigators said the Miami-Dade Police cruiser was set on fire before the Hallandale Beach Police cruiser.
Both police officers were home at the time of the crimes. The Hallandale Beach Police officer said he woke up to the sound of what he thought was rain, but when he looked out the window, he saw flames.
One of the officers who had his cruiser set on fire said he is disturbed by the crime. “I was calling 911 on my way out, rescue was already here,” he said. “It’s nerve wracking.”
Neighbors were stunned. “This is crazy,” said Gloria Isaacs. “I would never imagine they would set the police car on fire, no way! These are my neighbors. I love them, I never had no problem with them.”
Officials believe both fires were the result of arson, and that there is a much bigger issue at hand. “At this time, it’s safe to assume both calls are related,” Miami-Dade Police Lt. John Jenkins said earlier Friday. “Arson investigators are on the scene. It seems like the police officers are being targeted, especially in our community. We’ve had two incidents down south.”
On Jan. 29, a Miami-Dade Police cruiser parked outside of an officer’s home at Southwest 181st Street and 104th Avenue was found riddled with bullets. Two weeks later, a Cutler Bay Police cruiser was shot at the intersection of Gulf Stream Road and Marlin Road.
Although no one was hurt in either shooting, police said these types of crimes will still not be tolerated. “This is an intentional act against the police officers, but also an intentional act against the community,” said Jenkins.
If you have any information on these crimes, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.