Eight vehicles torched in New Year wrecking spree
Reporter: RICHARD HOOTON
Date online: 02 January 2013
POLICE are hunting an arsonist who set eight cars alight in Shaw and Royton.
Five parked cars were set on fire outside Crompton Conservative Club shortly before 7.50am yesterday, and the flames also damaged a low-loader truck close by.
Three cars on Queen Street and two on Hawthorn Crescent were destroyed. Firefighters managed to stop the flames spreading but then dashed to a Ford Fiesta torched in nearby King Albert Street.
The arson began between 2am and 3.30am when a vehicle was set alight in a garage on Firswood Drive, Royton.
Police yesterday cordoned off the scene outside the Conservative Club as they launched an investigation. Detectives and locals are baffled about the perpetrator’s reasons for the destruction.
CCTV is believed to show a man setting each vehicle on fire in turn, causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage. Police want to speak to a white, six feet tall man in his mid-20s. He had a shaven head and wore a white T-shirt.
Residents alerted the fire service after hearing the fires take hold.
The Chronicle understands one of the cars destroyed outside the Conservative Club belongs to a relative of tragic toddler Jamie Heaton, who was killed in the Shaw gas blast. His family were seeing in the New Year at the club. The vehicle had been left outside as they taxis home.
Detective Inspector Darren Meeks, of Oldham CID, said: “These arson attacks caused significant damage but could have been even more seerious if fire from the vehicles had spread to nearby houses.
“We have yet to fully establish a motive or explanation, but we feel confident they were carried out by the same person.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Oldham Police on 0161-856 8951 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Have Your Say