Food truck arson caught on video on west side of Indianapolis

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –The owners of an Indian restaurant and grocery on the west side of Indianapolis hope someone will recognize the man who set fire to their food truck, crippling their livelihood.

Security video behind Apna Kitchen in the 4200 block of Lafayette Road captured the crime around 4 a.m. Sunday. The video shows a man, who appears to be in his 20s or 30s, trying to get into two vehicles at neighboring businesses before approaching the Apna Kitchen food truck. The man is able to enter the cab of the truck, using a lighter to see.

This image was taken from security video behind Apna Kitchen around 4:00 a.m. Sunday, August 11, 2019.

A few moments later, the video shows a fire burning inside the cab of the truck as the man gets out. Over the course of several minutes, the man can be seen walking up and down the alley, returning to watch the truck as the fire inside it grows. Eventually, the video shows the man running from the scene as the truck becomes engulfed in flames.

In the video, the fire from the truck grows so bright that the security camera switches to daylight mode. At that point, firefighters arrive to put out the flames.

“Thank God it’s not the building, only the truck,” said Laxmi Arya, whose family owns Apna Kitchen.

This image was taken from security video behind Apna Kitchen around 4:00 a.m. Sunday, August 11, 2019.

Arya says the food truck had become the main source of income for her family’s business, serving food in the downtown Indianapolis area three or four days a week. She says the truck had developed a regular following of customers.

“Now, everybody’s calling, ‘where is the food, where is the food truck,’” Arya said. “But we, we can’t.”

A police report lists the truck fire as a $90,000 loss for the business. But Arya says the cost is growing much higher each day the truck isn’t out in the community.

“We don’t know how we’re going to survive now because this is the main, this is our living,” Arya.

The fire remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call IMPD or Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.

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