Hawthorne, CA – Security cameras captured the moment that an arsonist set a patrol SUV on fire outside the Hawthorne Police Department (video below).
The incident occurred at approximately 12:15 a.m. on Dec. 5, when 24-year-old Elmer Maldonado showed up in the 12500-block of Hawthorne Boulevard, and began loitering around the HPD, KCBS reported.
Security footage showed Maldonado as he tossed a liquid substance over the roof of an unoccupied HPD Ford Explorer Police Interceptor parked in front of the station.
He then ignited the fluid, immediately causing the patrol vehicle to burst into flames, the video showed.
As the inferno raged, Maldonado casually jogged across the parking lot.
He was apprehended at the scene, but police have not released any information about the suspect’s potential motive.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to the blaze and doused the flames, but the patrol SUV was a complete loss.
No one was injured during the incident, KCBS reported.
Maldonado was booked into the Hawthorne jail on suspicion of arson, and his bail was set at $50,000, according to the Los Angeles Times.
It wasn’t the first major incident to take place outside the HPD headquarters this year, the Daily Breeze reported.
On July 4, 37-year-old Dennis Borja crashed a 2004 Mini Cooper into the front doors of the police station, causing severe damage.
Borja then forced his way into the lobby, where he was arrested.
On April 7, 30-year-old Jacob Munn fatally shot his ex-girlfriend, 28-year-old Brenda Renteria, outside the station when she came to pick up their 17-month-old son for a custody exchange, the Daily Breeze reported.
Munn left the toddler inside the station, then hid and shot Renteria with a shotgun when she approached the front doors of the building, police said.
He fled the scene, and was later apprehended following a massive multi-jurisdictional search.
Munn has been charged with murder and possession of a firearm by a felon, the Daily Breeze reported.
You can watch security footage of Maldonado setting the HPD patrol vehicle on fire in the video below: