Hate crime disgusts residents as car set on fire, marred with 'KKK' graffiti

VACAVILLE, California -- Police say they need the public's help Tuesday to catch the vandals who committed a horrible hate crime.

Vacaville, California, police say they responded to a car fire Monday night around 9 p.m. and found much more: a white Mercedes-Benz fully engulfed in flames, marred with graffiti reading "KKK."

"Spray paint graffiti to right and left side," said Vacaville police Lt. Matt Lydon, "which indicates a hate crime."

Vandals tagged "KKK" on both sides of the white vehicle parked downtown -- a shocking site.

"That's unheard of for Vacaville," said one resident.

"It's horrible, we have a small town here," said another, "and to see something like this hate crime happen -- it's hideous."

Police say, the victim who owns the car is not African American. "All I can say is his ethnicity is not Caucasian," Lydon said.

Police say that victim is too frightened to come forward and speak out.

"Anything's possible, it could be a case of mistaken identity, it could be targeted," Lydon told ABC13 sister station ABC7 in San Francisco.

Neighbors say they saw similar tagging months ago on the side of a gas station near where the car was parked.

"It was like multiple Ks, not three, so didn't think it was racist," said resident Chris Torento. "Just an idiot with a spray can."

Gas station employees and police don't know if the vandalism is related.

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