Santa Monica police searching for man accused of setting fire to unmarked patrol vehicle

Authorities asked the public’s help Tuesday identifying a man they accused of setting fire to an unmarked Santa Monica police vehicle in May.

The man allegedly vandalized and set fire to the car, a Ford Crown Victoria, while it was parked at the loading dock of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium just after 5 p.m. on May 31, according to police.

The FBI has offered a reward up to $10,000 for information that leads to his identification and arrest.

Santa Monica police released photos of the suspect and described him as a white man in his 20s with red or blond hair and a reddish beard.

Police asked anyone with information to contact Detective Peter Zamfirov at 310-458-8398 or peter.zamfirov@smgov.net. People can also submit tips by emailing crimetips@smgov.net or calling 310-458-8491.

Authorities on May 31 said they arrested hundreds of people as protesters remained on the streets after a 4 p.m. city curfew.

The demonstrations in Santa Monica, one of many sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, had started peacefully before a number of people began looting stores.

Aerial footage showed at least two police vehicles vandalized, one of them engulfed in flames just after 6 p.m. near the City Hall.

Four structures, four cars and a dumpster were burned in the city that Sunday, according to fire officials.

On Monday, the FBI joined the Los Angeles Police Department in soliciting information on looting and other crimes that coincided with protests in the region.

“Individuals should not have to have their constitutionally protected rights hijacked by individuals committing criminal activity,” FBI Special Agent Voviette Morgan said.

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