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3 Pittsburgh police cruisers set on fire at training facility

3 Pittsburgh police cruisers set on fire at training facility
3 Pittsburgh police cruisers set on fire at training facility 02:11

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Three Pittsburgh police cruisers were destroyed overnight after being set on fire.

It happened just after 2:30 a.m. at the Pittsburgh police training facility along North Lincoln Avenue on the city's North Side. Firefighters arrived at the scene and helped put out the flames.

KDKA Photojournalist Brian Smithmyer

"Those vehicles were fully engulfed in flames and it's pretty safe to say that those are going to be a total loss," said Amanda Mueller, Public Information Officer with Pittsburgh Public Safety.

Police tell KDKA that the incident is considered suspicious.

It's not believed that any damage was done to the nearby building. 

Arson investigators along with the ATF are now looking into the incident as a possible hate crime.

While police say they don't have a suspect yet, they plan on using surveillance cameras in the area to help them catch the culprit.

"There really was no indication that we needed to be on high alert or that there was any specific security risk," Mueller added.  

Legal analyst Phil DiLucente said an attack of any kind against police can be considered a terroristic threat depending on the motive and intent of the perpetrator.

"There are going to be many crimes that result from it. Whether it's a terroristic threat and/or a hate crime under the federal or the state statutes is another story. That's where the investigation will be so important," DiLucente said.

He adds that since 2018, these types of crimes have risen tremendously which puts a strain on the relationship between law enforcement and the very people they serve and protect.

"There has been an increase in that only domestic cry but international crime and this is something we have to be concerned about," he said.

3 Pittsburgh police cruisers set on fire 01:27

Stay with KDKA-TV and for updates to this developing story as they become available.   

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