Orono police cars set ablaze in apparent arson three months after being smashed by giant fish
Assuming the same person or group of people is responsible, whoever is vandalizing police cars in Orono chose a more conventional method the second time around.
Three months after giant carp were used to vandalize four police vehicles, Orono police found an SUV and Charger ablaze early this morning. Both cars ended up being burned to the point where they were totaled, and a third was damaged. The loss is estimated at $100,000.
Police suspect arson, as a fire accelerant was found near the charred vehicles.
The Star Tribune got some details from Orono Police Chief Correy Farniok.
The cars were found burning by an officer pulling into the lot about 3 a.m. at the end of his shift, Farniok said. Firefighters put out the flames within about 10 minutes, the chief said.
"If it truly was arson, it takes a lot of guts to get inside our lot and do this right next to the police station," the chief said.
The lot is not fenced in, but it is under video surveillance, Farniok said.
Though the Orono PD now only have eight vehicles to work with as opposed to the usual 10, Farniok said response times shouldn't be impacted.
Investigators will scour the surveillance video in hopes of identifying the culprit, but the security footage wasn't of use following June's fish-smashing incident. In that case, the vandal was caught toting large carp toward the squads, yet no arrest was made.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.