LAUDERHILL, FLA. (WSVN) – An investigation is underway after a police cruiser caught on fire in front of a synagogue in Lauderhill.

The charred cruiser could be seen parked in the parking lot of Synagogue of Inverrary-Chabad, located at 6700 NW 44th St., just before midnight on Wednesday.

“The Lauderhill Police Department received a call of one of our vehicles on fire,” an officer said.

“No one was here,” said Rabbi Levi Chanowitz. “We were alerted right away by the police and fire department. Acts like this shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere, especially when it’s in a place that’s a house of worship. People come here to congregate, people come here to learn, to celebrate life and Judaism.”

Investigators said they believe the fire was intentionally set.

Surveillance video showed a man dousing the vehicle with a liquid before lighting it on fire.

“This was at 11:43 p.m. when you see an individual walking onto the property,” Chanowitz said as he showed surveillance video. “He’s dousing the vehicle with gasoline all around.”

An arson investigation is now underway.

Police said the cruiser was parked in front of the synagogue as a way to deter crime from happening at the house of worship.

Back on Jan. 4, police responded to the synagogue after it was vandalized. It remains unclear if both incidents are connected.

The cruiser has since been towed from the scene.

“Thank the fire department and the police department for all their help and involvement, commissioners, everyone’s been really coming together and standing behind us,” Chanowitz said. “I hope for peace — people doing acts of goodness and kindness rather than acts of malevolence and harm.”

Please check back on for more details on this developing story.

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