Suspicious car fires at auto repair shop set off sparks, popping noises, witness says

At least 7 cars damaged in apparent vandalism at AAMCO Transmissions

SAN ANTONIO – What is believed to be an act of vandalism, cars battered and burned at a Northwest Side auto repair shop Wednesday morning, set off sparks and loud popping noises, according to people in the area.

San Antonio firefighters responded to AAMCO Transmissions, located on Speedway Drive not far from Loop 410 and Jackson-Keller, around 6 a.m.

Cars set on fire, windows busted at Northwest Side auto repair shop

They found at least seven cars in the business’ parking lot that either had been set on fire, had their windows broken, or both.

An arson investigator still on the scene several hours later said it appeared someone intentionally caused the damage.

A video shared with KSAT 12 News by the owner of a neighboring business showed large flames and black smoke rising from several cars.

The sound of popping noises, similar to small explosions, could be heard in the video.

Timothy Mascoro, meanwhile, saw and heard it all firsthand. He said he was standing outside a convenience store just down the block.

“I saw this big old, black smoke, and it was just big. It was huge. And then sparks started flying,” he said.

Mascoro said he usually stays within a tunnel in a drainage ditch next to the auto repair business.

“There’s been a lot of crime around here. Being homeless, I’ve seen a lot of stuff going on,” he said.

Mascoro speculated that the fires and vandalism could be related to ongoing crime he has noticed in the area.

Investigators have not identified who is responsible for the damage or why that person may have caused it.

Mascoro, though, has a few ideas in mind.

“A (bad) business deal or something, or (the vandals) could just be mad at themselves,” he said.

The owners of the targeted cars will likely be upset after expecting to have their vehicles repaired but now have them in ruins.

About the Authors

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.

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