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Lauderhill Police Car Set On Fire Outside Synagogue

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - Lauderhill Police are investigating after one of their cars was set on fire outside of a synagogue late Wednesday night.

Officers were sent to the parking lot of the Synagogue of Inverrary-Chabad on the 6700 block of Northwest 44th St shortly before midnight.

Lauderhill Police Arson
(Source: Lauderhill Police)

The Lauderhill police cruiser, which was not occupied at the time, was parked in front of the synagogue to deter crime following a prior unrelated incident of vandalism, according to Lauderhill Police.

Surveillance video obtained by Lauderhill police shows an unidentified man wearing a dark hoodie approach the vehicle and douse it with fluid. He then crouched down next to one of the tires and set it on fire. Within seconds the entire car was engulfed in flames.

"This is serious because you have no respect for anything at that point. So if they're doing that to police cruisers you can only imagine what they can do to the rest of the public," said Lauderhill police Lt. Mike Santiago.

The fire damaged the front end of the car and charred the engine, just a few feet away from the synagogue.

"Acts like this shouldn't be tolerated anywhere, especially here at a house of worship and a peaceful place," said Rabbi Levi Chanowitz.

He said he's grateful no one was injured.

"It's unfortunate that somebody chose to do this but we have to do everything we can [so] that this doesn't happen again," he said.

Lauderhill police said it's not clear if the person was targeting the cruiser or the building.

"Hopefully this person can be found and dealt with appropriately so that this doesn't happen again anywhere else or here again," said Chanowitz.

Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477).

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