Video arson attempt alerts Buffalo haulage company

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BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – As Buffalo Police and Arson detectives continue to investigate an attempted arson on Christmas Eve, the owner of the targeted business is hoping the public can help catch the responsible person.

“The hope of the video is to make sure we catch the bad guy,” said Christine Uwimbabazi, owner of Prime Care Transportation. She shared with News 4 surveillance footage showing someone walking with a bag and allegedly trying to burn transport vans. A few times you see the person rubbing something on the tires.

At the scene, they found gasoline-soaked rags and gasoline-soaked books near the wheels. “The main idea was to burn all my vehicles. This is how I see it, ”said Uwimbabazi, who adds that she does not know who would target the vehicles. “I don’t know, which is why we are involving the police to see why someone can do this in the first place.”

The person returned twice on the evening of December 24, according to Uwimbabazi. “One of my drivers could have been burned in the vehicle, one of my clients could have been burned in the vehicle, so we are talking about murder at the moment. Maybe he thinks he’s going to burn the vehicle down, but one of my drivers could have died.

Uwimbabazi is a Rwandan refugee who started this business in Bailey and Lisbon Avenue in 2018. “So we want to make an impact on the east side and for a small business owner, women, a minority, to start from scratch to be where we are. now that’s something we should be proud of, but when we see someone trying to kill what you started. I just can’t figure out how even someone can do this.

Anyone with information on the person who appears to have attempted to burn Bailey and Lisbon on December 24 is asked to call the Buffalo Police confidential whistleblower line at (716) 847-2255.

George Richert is an award-winning journalist who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, then returned in 2018. See more of his work here.

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