Hunt for serial fireraiser after attacks

Police are looking into the fires. Picture: Julie Bull

Police are looking into the fires. Picture: Julie Bull

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A SERIAL firebug is being hunted by police investigating a string of blazes.

Two vehicles and a garage were targeted in Pilton over a 48-hour period and detectives believe the incidents are linked.

They are looking for a man thought to be aged in his late teens or early 20s who was seen on Crewe Road West at around midnight on Wednesday.

Community leaders today described the attacks as “despicable” and called for anyone with information to contact police.

The first incident happened at around 10.30pm on Monday in Pilton Avenue when a garage was damaged with graffiti before the suspect attempted to set it alight.

He struck again just 20 minutes later, when police received reports that a man had been seen on a driveway in Crewe Road West clutching a can of petrol, before setting fire to a van.

Witnesses described the white man as being in his late teens or early 20s and wearing a grey hooded top and trousers.

He is believed to have struck again just after midnight on Wednesday in nearby Boswall Gardens when a car was set on fire.

Deputy council leader Steve Cardownie – who represents the Forth Ward – said it was lucky no-one was hurt and called on anyone with information to help police track down the fireraiser before he strikes again.

Councillor Cardownie said: “We’ve had several recent instances of fireraising and, as we’ve seen, they can have horrible consequences.

“These crimes are just totally unnecessary and are placing people in danger.

“I would urge anyone who believes they may have any sort of information about these crimes to come forward to police.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a seemingly minor detail, if it could help police to solve these crimes, it’s important.

“Police can ensure that your complete anonymity will be protected, but witnesses have got to come forward.

“Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before this happens again – and it could mean someone is seriously injured, or a family is killed, because someone has set fire to another car or someone’s home.”

Police have launched an appeal for witnesses.

Pc Joanne Robertson said: “We are linking these three suspicious fires and are looking to trace the suspect who we have a more detailed description of during the incident on Crewe Road West. Anyone who has information is urged to contact police on 101.”