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South Bend business target of suspected arson twice in a year

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Police in South Bend are investigating a suspected arson for the second time in 11 months at Rage Customs Automotive, in the 2600 block of Lincolnway West.

“We leave church, show up here yesterday and find this. My buddy Kendall’s truck got set on fire about 6:30, 7:00 in the morning.” the business' president, Matt Rice, said.

A total of three cars burned outside of his business Sunday morning. Rice says he doesn't know who would target his business or the owners of the vehicles, however, it's not the first time he's seen damage like it on his property.

“We found a zippo can and part of a gas can, we’re waiting for detectives to stop by and pick them up.” Rice said. “Hopefully we can get some fingerprints to find out who thought this was a cool thing to do on a Sunday.”

Last April, someone set a fire inside of the building. He believes that fire was set by a disgruntled customer. Rice has technically been out of business since then. He's currently using the facility to work on his own vehicles and to help out family and friends. Restoration work on the building wont be finished for a few months.

It's still not clear who set the vehicles on fire or if it is connected to last year's arson.

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