Police search for man who torched vehicle in NE DC

WASHINGTON — Police are searching for a suspect caught on surveillance video setting fire to a vehicle early Friday in Northeast D.C.

Video footage shows a man walking back and forth in an alley just off K and Parker streets in Northeast just before 2 a.m. He can be seen approaching a parked automobile with a bag in hand, leaving the bag behind and then jogging from the area. Footage from around 15 minutes later shows the vehicle on fire.

Officials said the vehicle appeared to be a converted ambulance used by a nonprofit organization. They said they suspect the man because of the bag he was holding.

“Most disturbing about this case is the way in which [the man] acted and truthfully, the precision in which he set this ambulance on fire, allegedly,” said Doug Buchanan, chief of communications with D.C. Fire and EMS.

Buchanan said no other vehicles were targeted.

NBC Washington reports that the ambulance was nicknamed “The BeatBox,” and owned by the nonprofit BeatBox DC. It was fitted with a mobile sound system to provide music at school events and festivals.

BeatBox DC founder Peter Luce told NBC Washington, “It’s kind of terrifying in a densely populated area to have people blowing things up in alleys.”

No one was hurt.

Buchanan asks anyone with information to call the D.C. arson task force at 202-673-2776.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli and Kristi King contributed to this report from Washington.

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