WALTHAM, Mass. (WHDH) — Police in Waltham are working with the State Fire Marshal to find out who torched a van at the Boys and Girls Club.
The van was used by the club to provide transportation after school and the bring students to various events and groups they participated in.
The suspect was caught on surveillance video lurking around the can early Tuesday morning. Police say he went inside the van and set off a flare that was in a safety kit.
“It seems like he located that kit, opened it up, struck one of the flares and threw it on the back see seat of the van and exits the van. A short time later, a few minutes later, you can see the seats catch on fire and then he walks away,” Waltham detective Sgt. Joseph Guigno said.
The van was found several hours later, smoking and charred.
Erika Fitch is one of the employees at the Waltham Boys and Girls Club; she said it was one of three vans they used every day.
“Parents trust us to be able to pick up their kids after school if they are working or have other obligations so we bring them here to provide a safe place for them to be. We got donations to bring kids to the nutcracker so we have to figure out how we get kids into Boston to go to that show. We really rely on that van for transportation,” Erica Fitch from the Boys and Girls Club said.
Parents are also upset about what the person did and the impact it will have on their Children’s activities.
“I think it's terrible for somebody, especially this time of year, and just in general, would come and do that. They are taking potential programs away from our children and our kids. I know my son is on the basketball team. That's how they transport kids back and forth to different boys and girls clubs to participate,” Lisa Kolosiej said.
The van that was torched, along with all of the other vehicles used by the club, were donated.
“If there is anybody, any local car dealership that would be able to donate a new van or be able to loan us one until we are able to get the funds to purchase one, also any funds that we can put aside that come in toward a new van would be appreciated,” Fitch said.
The State Fire Marshal is sending the surveillance video to crime lab to be enhanced so they can hopefully figure out who that individual is. In the meantime anyone with information is urged to call the Waltham Police Department at (781) 314-3520 or State Fire Marshal at (800) 682-9229.