VACAVILLE (KPIX 5) — Vacaville police want to know who spray-painted KKK on the door of a Mercedes before lighting the car on fire.

Just after 9 p.m. on Monday, a car parked on Williams Street near Merchant Street went up in flames in front of a gas station.

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Investigators soon realized that the vandals had left a disturbing message.

“It’s indicative of a hate crime and we take it very seriously,” said Vacaville Police Lt. Matt Lydon.

“This is very uncharacteristic for this neighborhood and Vacaville in general,” said Vacaville resident Dr. William O’Connor.

“I’m ashamed of whoever did this,” said resident Claire Neely. “Whoever did this isn’t speaking for our community.”

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Police were investigating the fire as an arson and believe it somehow started from inside the vehicle.

It’s believed the vehicle was secured when the owner left and investigators were trying to determine how someone gained entry into the car.

The car was towed away Tuesday afternoon.

Its owner did not wish to speak on camera and is uncertain if he is the target.

“He didn’t witness anyone approach the vehicle and he couldn’t provide any suspect info as to motive for this – or problems with anyone that may be responsible for this,” said Lt. Lydon.

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“I hope that they get caught and that they have to reimburse the people,” said Neely. “Maybe serve a little jail time and a lot of community service.”