Authorities are searching for a garbage bag-wearing suspect who was caught on camera setting several garbage trucks on fire at a Pompano Beach business, causing millions of dollars worth of damage.
The arson incident happened just after 2 a.m. Sunday at the Waste Pro at 3101 Northwest 16th Terrace, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said.
Officials said the man, who was wearing a black garbage bag-type suit and goggles, forced his way into the business by torching the gate.
Surveillance footage released by BSO on Friday showed the man carrying what appeared to be a gas canister before lighting a truck on fire at the rear of the property.
As he walked back toward the front gate, the suspect began lighting several other garbage trucks on fire.
At one point, he opened a door to a building at the business and placed a clear bottle of liquid on the floor before lighting it on fire, officials said.
The suspect left the business and fled the scene in a black sedan. Officials said there was also a white SUV that was being used as a possible lookout.
The explosion shook Maria Elizabeth Tibari’s home and knocked out one of her windows, which is now boarded up.
“It was like somebody put a bomb,” TIbari said. “The fire, the flare goes up to the sky and the flare, the flames are out of control.”
“All of a sudden, a loud bang,” said Eduardo Pirapereira, Tibari's neighbor. “The whole house just trembled. Everybody was scared out of their minds.”
The company said the fire resulted in the loss of 10-12 frontline garbage trucks valued at more than $3 million, with a majority being a total loss. The facility sustained minor damage but was open and operating as usual, and Waste Pro trucks from around Florida were relocated to Pompano Beach to maintain service, the company said.
"We are grateful to the local Police and Fire Departments, as well as the State Fire Marshal for their quick response. We are saddened that such an irresponsible act could occur. Our drivers consider these $300,000 to $380,000 high technology trucks as their office and are proud to drive them," Russell Mackie, Regional Vice President for Waste Pro in Southeast Florida, said in a statement.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.