Police still searching for suspect who set cruiser on fire

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HELENA WEST HELENA, Ark. -- Who torched a police cruiser? That’s the mystery Helena West Helena Police officers are trying to solve.

They said someone destroyed the cruiser early Tuesday morning while the officer was on duty. The charred cruiser is off duty now, and evidence in a criminal investigation.

Helena West Helena Police Chief Virgil Green said an officer was visiting someone in the apartments off Adams Street when the incident happened.

“He heard a loud popping sound. He looked out and saw the unit was on fire,” said Chief Green.

Chief Green said someone threw gas on the vehicle. The top, back bumper and front of the car suffered severe damage. The heat from the fire also blew out a window.

“We do have the gas can that this person used,” explained Green.

The damage they did cost his department more than $28,000 and left them with a whole lot of questions.

“Currently we don’t have any suspects. We don’t know if they were just targeting this particular officer, but we’re looking to see if there was some kind of motive behind it.”

One thing we do know, since Chief Green came to town more than a year ago, he hasn’t been shy about cracking down on crime throughout the city. WREG asked if the fire could be in retaliation.

“My job and the job of the police officers here is to enforce the laws and if people don’t like that then don’t commit the crimes,” he explained.

For now, he’s calling the case isolated.

They’re asking anyone who might have some insight to give them a call at (870) 572-3441 or you can message them on Facebook.