Police look for pattern in arson attacks

05:05, Aug 19 2014
MYSTERY: Fire investigators gather info at a suspected arson in the red zone.

Police intelligence staff are trying to determine if there are links between a spate of arson attacks in Christchurch last week.

Detectives have not unearthed the offender or offenders responsible for any of the six deliberately lit fires that destroyed several properties in Christchurch, including an automotive business that maintains Canterbury's St John ambulance fleet.

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Jason Stewart said there were no obvious links, but intelligence staff were working to find any "patterns or links" between some or all of the incidents.

The first fire happened on Sunday, August 10, when an arsonist lit a pile of rubbish outside Milligan Automotive on Hazeldean Rd, which went on to gut the building, where more than 100 St John vehicles are serviced.

Detective Sergeant Craig Johnson said the alleged offender had not been identified from camera footage in the area, but he held out hope for one piece of footage that is yet to be viewed.

That was followed by four fires within a one kilometre radius in Avonside last Tuesday between 4.30am and 7.15am, which damaged three properties in the red-zone area and vegetation.

A fire was then lit inside an unoccupied commercial property on Kilmore St last Wednesday, causing extensive smoke damage.

Anyone with information related to these incidents can contact Stewart on (03) 363 7400 or anonymously on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


The Press