ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque family lost their only form of transportation after someone set their van on fire right in their driveway.
On Sunday, July 16, James Todisco woke up to his van in flames as it was parked right outside of his home.
“About an hour before I actually woke, I heard a big sound, and I went and looked out the window, but I didn’t see anything, and then an hour later, I woke up, and my car was on fire. I called the cops,” said Todisco.
Todisco believes someone living at the International District’s Jack and Jill Park, just across the street from his home, lit his car on fire. He said the park attracts crime, drugs, and the homeless.
“I can’t take my kids to the park. People throw their drug paraphernalia in my back yard. My kids, I have to stop them from going outside until I check the yard to make sure they don’t die from fentanyl,” said Todisco.
Losing his van hits his family extra hard because it’s their only form of transportation. He said without the van, he doesn’t know how he is going to take his kids to school.
James mentioned that van was the only way he could take his wife, who is handicap, to needed appointments.
“My wife has doctors’ appointments that I can’t get her to. Actually, next Friday, she has an appointment to get a wheelchair, and I don’t know how I’m going to get her there,” said Todisco.
Surveillance video from a nearby home shows someone going up to the van, placing something on it, and then running away. Seconds later, the van is on fire.
Not only was the vehicle engulfed, the front window of their home had to be replaced because of the heat from that fire, even melting their trash can.
The family mentioned they hope to move away soon because crime there is getting worse by the day.
“The neighborhood is so horrible. It’s not safe anymore,” added Todisco.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the family and can be found at this link.