Market owner says truck arson is a 'hate crime'

Posted at 11:41 PM, Jan 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-03 02:57:09-05

Deputies are looking for an arsonist they think set fire to a truck owned by an international market in Arapahoe County.

Authorities were called to the area of East Iliff Ave. and South Quebec St. on New Year's Day for a report of a truck fire.

After calling the owner of Zamzam International Market, deputies were able to obtain surveillance footage of a suspect who appears to set the truck on fire. The truck is used to stock the market. 

The man is seen wearing a camouflage jacket, a black stocking cap and sun glasses.

The owner of the business thinks he is being targeted.

"I believe it is a hate crime," said Mohammed Almosawi. "I believe someone intentionally set it, that they intentionally did this."

Almosawi is an Iraq native who immigrated to the United States 21 years ago, though the market has been open for only three years. He is also a leader in the local Muslim community. He said this is the third time his business has been targeted in a month. 

"The trash can was set on fire, the front door was broken and now the truck was set on fire," Almosawi said.

Almosawi said the truck sustained $50,000 worth of damage. He's also worried the vandal may turn to more violent crime and hopes that deputies catch the culprit soon.

The same arsonist is also being sought for a dump trailer fire that happened a few hours later, about two blocks away from the first fire. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.


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