North Carolina investigators working to determine if arson was racially motivated

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UNION COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- Investigators in Union County are trying to figure out if an overnight arson was racially motivated. Charred pavement was all that remained along Dale Street in Monroe by Friday morning.

Investigators say three vehicles, including a semi and attached trailer, were set on fire. The suspect also tagged the vehicles with “ Black Lives Matter”. The call came in around 11 p.m. Thursday from someone who lived nearby. It quickly became apparent the fires were arson.

“You see the spray painting along the cars and the speed of the which the vehicles burned it appears to include some type of flammable liquid,” said Tony Underwood from the Union County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators say a Molotov cocktail was used to start the fires. A nearby abandoned grocery store was also spray painted with “Black Lives Matter”.

Investigators returned to the shopping center looking for any additional evidence including security footage. They say it’s common for people from a nearby neighborhood to park along the road overnight.

Part of the investigation is trying to determine if this is a crime of opportunity, with someone using “Black Lives Matter” as a cover-up.

“At this point anything is possible. We don’t have suspects at this point so it’s too early to say what might be involved,” said Underwood.

Anyone with information should call the Union County CrimeStoppers at 704-283-5600.

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