RICHMOND Valley residents beware, lock up your car or you may find it burnt out down arural road out the back of no-man’s land the next morning.
Following the malicious arson of four vehicles and a trailer at an industrial business in Casino last week, The Northern Star can reveal the Richmond Valley Local Government Area is the location for up to five times more car fires then any other area in the region.
Since March 1 NSW Fire and Rescue and Rural Fire Service crews responded to 10 car fires in the Richmond Valley area.
That included a stolen car torched at Fairy Hill last month and a car fire at Woodview, west of Casino.
On May 8, RFS crews spent an hour extinguishing a stolen motorbike at West Coraki, which was dumped at the end of a rural road.
The rest occurred in Casino.
Rural Fire Service Northern Rivers operations manager Daniel Ainsworth said most car fires they responded to involved stolen cars.
“Most of those (above figures) were stolen cars,” he said.
“But we have had an increase in fires in the last month and a lot of them have been vehicle fires.
“If they are stolen, usually they (drivers) will go down a back road where it’s a bit quieter and away from the main roads.
“A lot of the times they have their number plates missing or by the time we get there, the car is well and truly alight.
“We report the rego to the police who investigate whether it is stolen.
“Most of the firefighters are experienced and they recognise if they are dumped cars, they are stolen.”
During the same time period, March 1 to May 20, there was one car fire in the Lismore LGA, one in Kyogle, three in Byron and five in Ballina.
The 2010 annual report released by Budget Direct stated that three-in four vehicles stolen were by youths for joyriding, transport or to commit another crime.
Between January 3 and September, 2010, Australia’s own, the Holden Commodore was the most stolen car model in the country.
Campbelltown, west of Sydney, recorded the highest number of car thefts, and in NSW most cars were stolen on a Thursday.
The arsonists responsible for breaking into a Casino business on Dyrabba Street last weekend and vandalising $400,000 worth of property have not yet been arrested, police said yester-day.
The malicious incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Four vehicles and a trailer were destroyed by fire and people were seen running from the scene.
Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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