Police seek Barnstaple fire bug

POLICE are investigating a succession of suspicious early morning fires and acts of vandalism that have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to businesses on a Barnstaple industrial estate. Officers are examining CCTV footage in which five youths we

POLICE are investigating a succession of suspicious early morning fires and acts of vandalism that have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to businesses on a Barnstaple industrial estate.

Officers are examining CCTV footage in which five youths were seen near the scene of a wheelie bin fire that caused an estimated �15,000 worth of damage at a warehouse on Brannam Crescent at the Roundswell Industrial Park. The bin was set alight at around 3am on Monday, and fire fighters spent about an hour dampening the flames, which had spread to skips and windows and air vents on the side of the building.

In a separate incident the same night, vandals scaled scaffolding at the Roundswell Community Centre, near Sainsbury's, and threw large slate tiles from the roof of the centre.

PCSO Tony Charles said: "These were heavy blocks and would have taken at least two people to lift; they were simply dropped off the roof and smashed.


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"Due to the close proximity of the two incidents we suspect it might be the same group of people involved."

In the latest incidents in the early hours of Wednesday morning, around �93,000 worth of damage was done to three heavy good vehicles after they were set alight at a depot in Gratton Way, Roundswell at 3.50am.

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Two fire crews from Barnstaple, and a third from Bideford battled to prevent the flames from two lorries and a van from spreading to nearby buildings.

Later that morning, a crew from Barnstaple was called out again to the recycle centre at nearby Seven Brethren Bank, where a paper bank was set on fire.

"We are dealing with a number of separate incidents including two potentially serious fires and I would urge anyone with any information to contact police," said PCSO Charles.

"These are very serious incidents and police are stepping up extra patrols in the area during the course of the evening and night," he added.

Anyone with any information about any of the incidents is asked to call police on 08452 777444 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 quoting crime reference CB/09/2901; CB/09/2903; or CB/09/2942.

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