Man torches patrol vehicle in front of Hawthorne police station: Video

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (KABC) -- An arson suspect was caught on camera setting a Hawthorne police SUV on fire directly in front of the station, authorities said.

The incident was captured on security video around 12:15 a.m. on Dec. 5 on Hawthorne Boulevard, according to Hawthorne police.

The man appears to douse the patrol vehicle with an "unknown accelerant" before fleeing the scene.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire. The vehicle, a Ford Explorer Police Interceptor, was deemed a total loss.

The suspect, 24-year-old Elmer Maldonado of Hawthorne, was arrested without incident, police say.

A motive for the crime was not announced.
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