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ADDU torchers were determined

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November 20, 2007

Albany - It was determined criminals who firebombed the drug unit cars in Albany.  They had previously tried to torch the cars and failed. Four cars were hit with Molotov cocktails Sunday night. We now know the bombers had tried to do it just two hours earlier. Now, investigators are reviewing security tapes to seek if they caught the attack on tape.

You can call them persistent. Whoever was out to get ADDU didn't give up without success. "One unsuccessful incident and then they came back again a few hours later and were successful the second time," said Unit Commander Derrell Smith.

That second time, around 9 PM Sunday, is when four cars were lit on fire by a couple of Molotov cocktails, thrown from the alley behind the drug unit on Pine Avenue. "I don't know if it's gang-related or drug related," said Smith.  "Evidently we struck a nerve with somebody and they felt the need to come do that."

The crooks may have been brazen, but they weren't that smart. Cameras were recording all of their activities. Investigators are now reviewing that tape to see if they can identify the crooks.

"Obviously we feel like it was some type of retaliation and this case they attacked the vehicles," said Fire Chief James Carswell. The fire department is assisting Albany Police and Carswell says he's just glad this arson investigation isn't a murder investigation, since someone was inside the building when the firebombs were thrown, and could have been trapped. "Once you start the fire," he said, "you have very little control over that outcome at that point, so anything could have happened."

But Drug commander Derrell Smith says his unit won't cower down to a bunch of cowards. "It becomes personal when you start coming at the officers directly." And they'll keep going directly after anyone threatening their officers, or your streets.

Investigators believe the first attempt to firebomb ADDU happened around 7:00 PM, the next occurred around 9PM. Anyone who saw suspicious activity during those time periods should call the Albany Fire or Police Departments.

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