Arson damaged six brand new police cars in a fenced auto lot at Metro Motors on St. Croix early Monday morning.
"There was a call at 1:30 a.m. reporting the cars on fire and V.I. Fire Services went in and put them out," V.I. Police Department Public Information Officer Melody Rames said Tuesday.
"Police officers are the ones everyone in the community turns to when they are in trouble, so I don’t know why someone would do something like this," Rames said, urging anyone with any information to let the department know.
The six cars were among a large shipment of police vehicles purchased recently with bond revenues approve last year. (See related links below)
Whoever torched the cars selected six cars spread out among the parked fleet, poured gasoline all over the gas tank and back of the car, with something put into the gas tank valve to try to light the tank, according to an employee of Metro Motors.
"They could be fixed, but it is a lot of damage," he said.
The damaged vehicles are insured, said Henry Williams, mechanics supervisor for the VIPD motor pool. After inspecting the vehicles Tuesday morning, Williams said the damage is extensive and the vehicles were brand new and may never really be as good as before. "They could be repaired maybe, but we want them replaced."
Detectives can be reached at 1-340-712-6077 or 1-340-712-6037. Those with information also can call 911 or the anonymous tip service, Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-222-TIPS.