Victim's car set on fire

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Forget locking your doors, crooks are setting cars on fire in one Richmond neighborhood. A man who lives in the 1400 block of 23rd Street near Church Hill contacted us Friday, after his car was torched in front of his house.

Most people are smart enough to lock their car doors and so was the victim in this case. So you can image how surprised he was when he came outside to find all of his car's windows blackened with soot.

A charred mess is all that's left of Miguel Martin's 1997 Honda Civic. Late Thursday night, someone set the inside of it on fire.

"All right here was just like red lines and smoke coming out this side and coming out this side," Martin said.

The driver's seat is burned down to just mostly the frame. The door and steering wheel are melted. The sight of his only form of transportation up in flames was almost too much for him to handle.

"It's shocking man," Martin said. "It's like I cannot believe this. It's like so shocking it's like a dream."

Miguel was sleeping inside of his home when a neighbor woke him up and told him his car was on fire. He believes someone dropped a cigarette or a match through the cracked window.

"Make sure your windows are all the way up!" Martin said. "They're not going into your car just to like vandalize or steal stuff. They're now taking your car and blowing the car up."

Miguel did have his car doors locked. Black duct tape covers the one inch crack he left open for ventilation. While his car has been torched, there is still a bit of good news. Miguel's car still starts.

Martin says he has no idea who would've done something like this, he thinks it was just random. If you saw anything suspicious on 23rd Street in Church Hill last night, call police.

If there's a crime issue in your neighborhood you want us to help you with, just send an e-mail to

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