Police are hunting a suspected arsonist in Exmouth after a spate of fires which started in bin areas.
Detectives are linking five suspicious blazes in a fortnight and have appealed for help to catch the culprit ‘before lives, as well as livelihoods, are threatened’.
On each occasion the bins of commercial premises have been targeted between midnight and 5am.
Fire crews from across East Devon and Exeter tackled a blaze at Exmouth Pavilion, on the Esplanade, at around 2.20am this morning (Monday, July 13).
Police believe an accelerant was used.
We want to find the person, or people, responsible, before a tragedy happens and lives are threatened in addition to people’s livelihoods – DS Tim Hegarty
Bins at Budleigh Salterton Football Club were set alight at around 3am on Saturday, July 11.
Thousands of pounds-worth of damage was caused to the Bumble and Bee café, in Manor Gardens, Exmouth, on Wednesday, July 7.
Detective Sergeant Tim Hegarty, of Exmouth CID, said: “So far, these fires have caused damage to people’s business premises, at times causing a lot of financial damage, anguish and inconvenience.
“Times are hard enough for businesses who are getting ready for what should be the tourist season – we want to find the person, or people, responsible, before a tragedy happens and lives are threatened in addition to people’s livelihoods.
“We would like to hear from people who have witnessed any suspicious activity, or have concerns about any person they may know who has, for example, come home smelling of fire, or has developed a fascination with fire or the emergency services.”
Officers will continue to conduct door-to-door enquiries in the affected areas and are urging businesses to be vigilant.
Police would like to hear from anyone who may have any information which could assist their enquiries, including those with potentially-relevant CCTV footage.
Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting log number 99 of 13/7/20.
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