Belfast Telegraph

Arsonists strike in Larne as three cars burnt out in overnight attacks

By Victoria Leonard

Politicians have condemned arson attacks on two cars in Larne during the early hours of yesterday morning, saying someone could have been seriously injured or killed.

The incidents occurred in the Riverdale and Kylemore Gardens areas of the town.

A PSNI statement said: "At Kylemore Gardens, an Audi A3 was set on fire by two men wearing dark clothing and masks shortly before 1am and a Vauxhall Meriva was set alight shortly after 1am at Riverdale. Two men were seen running from the scene.

"A Volvo car which was parked beside the Vauxhall was also damaged as a result of the incident. Police are investigating a link between the two attacks which left the cars badly damaged."

Chief Inspector Simon Ball revealed that while the investigation into yesterday's attacks is at an early stage, police are not linking them to the recent spate of arson attacks in the area.

He added: "Police are taking these incidents seriously and are doing all we can to bring those responsible before the courts. We will continue to have a police presence on the ground in Larne to provide reassurance to local people."

Sinn Fein councillor James McKeown said that "masked men running around Larne at night" was becoming a "regular occurrence," and called for police to step up patrols in the town.

"This type of activity is not good for the community, it's not serving any purpose, it's endangering life and if this continues someone will end up either very badly hurt or even killed," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"The truth about Larne is that incidents like this are becoming far too regular an occurrence, and the fear is that these things could escalate.

"I am asking the PSNI to increase their activity to try and thwart these incidents. I would like to see more police officers on patrol."

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, DUP Councillor Paul Reid, said that the town had enjoyed peace in recent weeks following the earlier arson attacks.

"This sort of antisocial behaviour is totally unacceptable and I would urge anyone with information to contact the police," he stated.

"Larne is a very close-knit community and the people here don't want this."

Anyone with any information can contact police in Larne on 101 quoting reference number 52 30/06/17 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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