Monday, April 30, 2012
Wichita police say someone intentionally ignited a police car that had been parked on a residential street over the weekend.
The officer who drives the car awoke shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday and found his cruiser on fire. Fire Department spokesman Lt. Kelly Zane says flammable liquid was present outside the vehicle, so there's no doubt it was set on purpose.
Police said it's possible the patrol car was targeted in retaliation for the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy by a police officer April 13. Eleven people have been wounded in officer-involved shootings in or near Wichita this year, including four who have died.
Goddard Police Chief Sam Houston's police car was targeted in November. He says it was parked in front of his house when someone took a hammer and broke out the window of his patrol car. The thief stole his computer, ammunition and other valuable equipment.
"They stole about $3,000 worth of items," said Houston.
Houston says law enforcement cars he's heard of more and more police cars being vandalized in the last year.
Zane said authorities have some significant leads, but no arrests have been made.