Victim, witness, firefighter and police perspective on a night of vehicle vandalism in South Yorkshire.
All images: @ChrisBurn_Star
Time and location
Vandals set fire to eleven cars during a three-hour rampage last weekend in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Attacks started on Friday, October, 14th 2016 at approximately 11:30pm then continued to 2:00am. The vehicles were parked in the Parson Cross and Southey parts of the city in Herries Road, Barrie Crescent and Morgan Road.
Victim heard “loud bang”
The vandals caused thousands of pounds worth of damage and photographs suggest that many of the vehicles are beyond viable repair. Among the victims were Steve and Susan Booth who recently purchased a Ford Focus Hatchback. It was parked a few metres from their front door when Mr Booth heard a “big bang” at about 12:00am.
He later told the press: “When I came out the fire brigade were already there. They told me to go back inside and we had to wait. It was a nightmare, the car was totally burnt. I’m hoping it will be covered by insurance - but I don’t know if it covers arson. These people do not realise what they have done”, Mr Booth claimed.
Despite their distress and the loss of a vehicle, the couple counted their blessings as the fire did not spread to their property. Mr Booth added: "The police said this is so close to the house it could have been a totally different scenario. If the car had exploded, who knows what would have happened?”, Mr Booth asked.
Witness saw “ghost town”
Kirsty Smith - who lives on Barrie Crescent - heard a “loud bang” caused by another incident at about 12.30am. She later told the press: "There were loads of police and fire fighters and they closed Morgan Road off. About an hour later it was like a ghost town”.
Firefighters called at 11:30pm
A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: "We attended reports of a car fire on Herries Road at about 11.30pm. When we attended, we had got a total of nine cars involved. Through the night, we had a total of eleven car fires in two square miles.”
The spokesperson added: “All the vehicles received similar damage to the front end or rear end, but no car was totally gutted.” The police reported that the perpetrator – or perpetrators – started the blazes via a spray-type accelerant at the rear of the vehicles.
Police appeal for information
The police added that its “initial enquiries have not yet identified an offender”. A spokesman said: “If you witnessed the incidents or have information that would lead officers to identify those responsible, contact South Yorkshire Police on the non-emergency number 101 quoting Incident Reference 1328 of October 7."