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KCSO searching for suspect who set woman's car on fire after she attended a local protest

Vonnesha Harris
Posted at 3:41 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 18:41:52-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Kern County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in identifying arson and possible hate crime suspect.

On June 1, 2020, at around 11:30 pm, deputies were dispatched to the report of a vehicle fire in the 1800 block of Monterey Street. Upon arrival, deputies located a gray sedan with fresh fire damage. The suspect also vandalized the vehicle with racial slurs.

In an interview with 23ABC's Imani Stephens, the vehicle's owner, Vonnesha Harris, attended a peaceful protest in Bakersfield on May 31st, but the following night her car was set on fire.

"I was standing up for what I believe in and what our community is coming together for and people don't like that. So people will do anything they can to stop you," Harris said.

Local woman's car set on fire following protest

Harris said she believes she is the victim of a hate crime.

"I came outside to my car and I was writing music like in my car," Harris said. "I came outside and then when I went back in the house, like 20 or 30 minutes later, our neighbor came knocking on the door and said somebody's car was on fire and it was my car."

If anyone has information on the identity of the suspect, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 661-861-3110, or Secret Witness at 661-322-4040. Anonymous text tips can be sent to TIP411 (847411). Just type the keyword “KCSO” before the message.