ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – The remnants of four vehicles at Lithia Kia in Anchorage won’t be driven off the lot, instead they will be towed after they burned in a fire Thursday morning. The dealership’s General Manager Eric Connick says one vehicle was set on fire before the blaze spread to three others and damaged the taillight of a fourth.
“I got woken up by an officer this morning,” Connick explained at Kia on Thursday. “At 3 a.m. he was knocking on my door and told me I need to get to the store.”
When he arrived, the Anchorage Police Department and Anchorage Fire Department were on scene putting out the fire. The search for suspects is ongoing, as APD continued their investigation Thursday afternoon.
“What do I know right now? Not very much. Unfortunately, it is very new and it happened last night,” APD Detective Clint Thomas shared at the scene.
Connick says two people can be seen on camera next to the car that initially burned before it was torched.
“I have no idea, it looks like it was a couple of guys who came in looking to create a crime,” Connick said. “I don’t know if they intentionally set the fire or not.”
This fire comes a week after Connick spoke out against the Anchorage Assembly proposal to buy the old Alaska Club on Tudor near the business for homeless services. During his impassioned plea to the assembly on July 15 he outlined how his car dealership often deals with homeless people.
“I don’t think there is any connection to [my testimony],” Connick said. “Let me make that clear.”
Connick has been the general manager for seven years and says he’s never seen cars burned at his dealership before. He does feel that crime is an issue as he says he’s seen stolen tires, auto parts and car break-ins at his business often.
“I think the community is tired of the crime especially in mid-town,” said Connick.
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