Google Cars Targeted By Arsonist

A paranoid arsonist has been blamed for several attacks on Google Street View vehicles.

The suspect, Raul Diaz, allegedly used a Molotov cocktail to destroy a Street View car parked outside the company’s Mountain View headquarters, according to an affidavit cited by Ars Technica.

The first sign of trouble dates back to May 19 when two broken beer bottles were found near a Street View vehicle. Diaz is accused of returning to the scene several weeks later and firing a gun, however the first arson attempt and shooting did not appear to result in any damage.

As police continued to investigate the first incidents, Diaz allegedly returned and successfully torched a company vehicle. Investigators spotted a 2004-2005 Volkswagen Touareg in multiple security footage recordings, coinciding with the crimes.

Google security finally closed in on Diaz last week when they spotted his vehicle in the area once again. Mountain View Police Department officers arrived and pulled over the car for speeding, however they also noticed a gun case and an apparent improvised incendiary device in the vehicle.

Diaz allegedly confessed to both arson attempts and the shooting. He claimed the mystery device was not a bomb, but rather a tube filled with cotton and bullets that were to be used for target practice.

“Diaz told officers that his motivation behind the attacks was that he felt Google was watching him and that made him upset,” the affidavit notes. “Diaz said that he kept journals of the times that he felt Google had been watching him.”

Despite the apparent confession, it is unclear if Diaz plans to plead guilty or innocent. The expected federal arson charges are said to carry potential jail terms of up to 20 years.

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