Elkhart Cueramaro Supermarket arsonist caught on camera
ELKHART, Ind.-- An Elkhart supermarket and restaurant is a total loss after being consumed by a fire.
The owners of Cueramaro Supermarket tell ABC 57 they think they know who did it based on the surveillance video above showing a man lighting up the back of the restaurant on purpose.
“Someone lit our store. We have the proof, we have everything, and the police up until this moment has done nothing," said Cueramaro Supermarket owner, Carmelo Rodriguez.
In the video above, you see the suspicious man compile cardboard at the back door of the market.
Moments later, you see what looks to be the suspect igniting the pile, putting something away in his pocket and walking away.
After a few minutes you see the flames and smoke starting to rise.
That man was instantly recognized by the owner and his employees.
“He has been approaching us for about two months now, hungry and everything. We felt bad so we began giving him breakfast and lunch,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez says the same day of the fire, he offered the homeless man money and told him to stop by the office to get it from an employee.
Rodriguez tells ABC 57 he forgot to alert the employee so when the suspect came to collect, he was denied.
He allegedly responded with a threat to burn the place down.
“The day of his birthday, we gave him a cake, all the employees pooled together money for him. For him to do something like this to us is difficult," said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez says the wheels aren’t turning on this investigation fast enough and thinks it’s not being taken seriously because it’s a Latino-owned business.
ABC 57 reached out to both the Elkhart Fire and Police Departments to see why, despite all the evidence, the suspect hasn't been taken in for questioning over a week later.
They tell me they are unable to provide specifics since it's an ongoing investigation.
“We’re not expecting much from investigators. Imagine, they’ve known from the beginning. We gave them who, there's photos, there's videos, there's everything. Unfortunately you don’t see the initial ignition but you see him standing there and him walk away the the flames. But for police that’s not enough," said Rodriguez.
Until the store is up and running again employees tell ABC 57, they have no choice but to look elsewhere for work.
“We need money, we need work. We have to see what we’re going to do. Find work while we help here to begin to work again," said Cueramaro employee, Jesus Saucedo.
The market has been open for about 16 years so their focus is on rebuilding and reopening within the next 6 months.
In the meantime, the owner estimates the business will be losing about $360,000 dollars a month.