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Police probe link after 7 cars damaged in weekend arson attack rampage in Larne

By Chris McCullough

Police are investigating a link between seven cars damaged in arson attacks during a weekend rampage in Larne.

Five vehicles were extensively damaged over the weekend and a failed attempt was made to set a sixth on fire.

On Monday police said they were probing two further arson attacks on vehicles in Larne.

The two most recent incidents happened early on Monday morning in Bryan Street and Mill Road.

Police said the front window of a house on Mill Road was also smashed and a petrol soaked rag, possibly from an unlit petrol bomb, was recovered from the porch roof at the property.

Detective Chief Inspector Dunny McCubbin said: "We are investigating a link between these incidents and similar attacks on vehicles during the early hours of Saturday and Sunday. Detectives can be contacted by calling 101 quoting references 81 and 99 of 17/04/17.”

"If someone would prefer to provide information without leaving their name they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

In the first incident, reported shortly after 1.20am on Saturday, a Seat Leon car parked in Hampton Grove was set on fire.

Police said the vehicle was extensively damaged as a result.

A short time later, it was reported that an attempt had been made to set fire to another vehicle, parked on Mill Road.

No damage was caused to the car.

Arsonists struck again 24 hours later.

Shortly before 2am yesterday, it was reported that a Citroen Berlingo parked in Glebeville Gardens had been set alight, causing extensive damage to the vehicle.

A short time later, it was reported that two cars - a Volkswagen Golf and an Audi - parked on Killyglen Road, had been set on fire.

Both vehicles were extensively damaged.

And shortly after 4.30am, police were informed that a Citroen car parked in Blackthorn Green had been set on fire.

It was also extensively damaged in the blaze.

Larne DUP councillor Gregg McKeen said the attacks seemed to be random. He continued that they bore the hallmarks of someone just out to create "sheer badness" and intent on bringing terror to the community.

Mr McKeen told the Belfast Telegraph: "I condemn these attacks outright.

"These seem very random, targeting cars in different parts of Larne so early in the morning.

"It looks like someone was up to sheer badness at those strange times of the morning." Mr McKeen added: "I would call on anyone with any information to contact the police as soon as possible."

In August last year, arsonists set fire to six classic cars belonging to a collector on the Brustin Brae Road in Larne.

An MG and a Lotus Sunbeam were among the vehicles which were destroyed during that incident.

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