Public Safety

Arson and a Molotov cocktail - police investigating two incidents of property damage

Authorities not sure if the damage was related to the weekend demonstrations

Police tape crime scene. (Dreamstime/TNS)
Police tape crime scene. (Dreamstime/TNS)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Police are investigating two incidents of damaged property that they said possibly were related to weekend protests spawned by the death of a black man in Minneapolis police custody.

A fire was reported at 12:44 a.m. Monday at 40011 First Ave. SE — the former location of McGrath Ford — where an empty shed and vehicles were damaged, according to Greg Buelow, the city’s public safety spokesman.

Buelow said it was determined the fire was deliberately set. He said the detached shed and six commercial delivery vehicles — all of which belonged to Pat McGrath — were either damaged or destroyed.

Buelow said it is not yet known whether the fire was connected to a threat earlier Sunday to cause property damage in the Lindale Mall area. A second report of damage came from EZPAWN, 2660 Wiley Blvd. SW, where a Molotov cocktail was thrown through an exterior door Sunday night.

Buelow said the Molotov cocktail broke the exterior door, but did not cause any further damage.

Both incidents remain under investigation, Buelow said.

Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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