Police blame Molotov cocktail for Moline car explosion

MOLINE, Illinois -- The Moline Police Department requests the public's help after a stolen vehicle was found fully engulfed in flames on Tuesday, November 14.

Police say it all started on Saturday, November 11, with an Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking that occurred in the 3600 block of 25th St. in Moline.

According to officials, two adults, a male and a female, were approached by three adult males armed with a firearm while exiting their vehicle. Police say a struggle ensued, causing the firearm to discharge, narrowly missing the male victim.

"Anytime you introduce firearms and significant acts of violence where people's lives are being threatened. that heightens it for everyone," says Detective Michael Griffin of the Moline Police Department.

The suspects left the area with the victim's vehicle, a gray 2005 Volvo SUV.

Three days later, on November 14, Moline Police and Fire were dispatched to the 1100 block of 15th St. A and found the stolen 2005 Volvo SUV ablaze.

An investigation into the incident revealed unknown subjects threw a Molotov cocktail into the vehicle and fled the the scene southbound on foot.

"What it is is a glass bottle filled with an accelerator like gasoline with a rag acting as a wick. You light the rag and throw it," explains Griffin.

Police say a darker vehicle, described as being similar to a Chevrolet Camaro, was seen leaving the area shortly after the fire.

"This is definitely above  and beyond what we normally see. We've had 81 cars stolen this year, and 80 of those have been cars left running, cars with keys in the ignition. None of them have ever been taken by violence. This is the first time it's been taken by violence, and it's a significant amount of violence," says Griffin.

The Moline Police Department asks anyone with information regarding the incidents to contact the Moline Police Criminal Investigation Division at 309-524-2140. Anyone who would like to remain anonymous  may contact Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities at 309-762-9500.