Arson suspect leaves Dillon Police car in flames

DILLON, SC (WMBF) - Police in Dillon are working to find an arson suspect after they found a patrol car in flames.

It was the strong smell of gas, and fear of a gas tank leak, that brought one Dillon Police office on patrol back to the police fleet early Wednesday morning. What they found was one car in flames, and several more doused in fuel.

The fire department responded to extinguish the fire that burned the back half of that patrol car and noted the line of fuel between each of the patrol vehicles avoided all the personal vehicles in the area.

"We had a few cars over here a few more parked over there with gasoline trails and you can see the trails where they left the gasoline marks," Said Sgt. James Hayes with the Dillon Police Department.  "They left a trail to several other vehicles and luckily the other cars didn't catch on fire."

The line of fuel circled around the parking lot until it covered each vehicle belonging to the police force. Police officers patrolled the area for suspicious behavior and asked nearby stores if anyone had purchased a significant amount of gasoline.

Sgt. Hayes said it is a miracle no other cars were burned.

"It's just luck actually the fire was contained to just this vehicle and it never traveled the rest of the way where the gas was pouring," Hayes said.

So far, no suspects or leads have presented.

"We're trying to follow up on some leads and hope that anyone who knows anything will contact us and we'll follow up the best we can," Added Hayes.

Sgt. Hayes said this is not the first time someone has damaged the department's patrol cars.

"Back in April of last year I think we had several vehicles that were broken and damaged to vandalized," Hayes said.

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