Man beats van, sets it on fire

NORTH NORWICH – A man pulled next to a van up for sale along State Highway 12 in North Norwich and got out of his white jeep with a baseball bat, beating the van’s lights and windows before lighting it on fire, witnesses said Thursday.

The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the suspect, described as a six foot tall white male between the ages of 30 and 40, with light color hair, a slight stocky build and wearing a brown coat and blue jeans.

Police said they are also searching for the suspect’s vehicle, described as a white, late 90s Jeep Grand Cherokee, with a darker, heavier SUV styled body modeling.

The North Norwich Fire Department was called to the scene of the vehicle fire at about 9:48 a.m. Thursday, just off of Rt. 12 directly across the road from the Catalog Outlet, which is located about a mile from County Rt. 32, in the Town of North Norwich.

Sheriff’s Lt. Richard Cobb said they believe the suspect’s vehicle returned to the City of Norwich following the incident. A white jeep was spotted at the red light intersection in the left-hand turning lane on East Main Street, waiting to turn down South Broad. Cobb said instead of traveling onto South Broad, the vehicle went straight through the intersection, cutting off traffic in the other lane and proceeded up West Main Street.

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