SEVENTEEN cars have been found burnt over the last three months but Blacktown police do not believe it was the work of a ‘‘firebug’’.
They included four cases so far this month including a camper van rented by German tourists which was parked at K-Mart on Alpha Street last Sunday.
Crime manager Detective Inspector Adam Wilson said most of the vehicles were set alight by people to destroy forensic evidence after using them for robbery, theft or a joyride.
He said police believed others were lit for revenge or due to some sort of dispute while some were caused by vehicle electrical faults.
Inspector Wilson did not support public speculation that they were all the work of young firebugs who ‘‘graduated’’ from setting fire to rubbish bins in the neighbourhood.
He admitted police had little luck in arresting anyone in connection with the incidents and called on the public to help by providing more information.
‘‘We tackle the cases by our normal investigation method of asking questions like whether the car owner has any dispute with anyone or whether they tried selling their car recently,’’ he said.
‘‘We also speak to people living near the vehicle fire scene to find out if they saw, or could identify, anyone running away.’’
A resident who called the fire brigade to a car fire near his home at Sullivan Street at 2am last Tuesday said the firefighters came within three minutes.
‘‘I was awakened by an explosion, looked out and saw a car on fire,’’ he said.
‘‘We were very concerned the debris from the burning car could injure or damage our property.’’
He said the owner of the razed car later told him he had parked the car on his street because one of his tyres and the spare tyre were deflated.
The resident pointed to another car abandoned nearby with a Blacktown Council sticker on the windscreen.
He said three cars had been torched in his area recently.