Arsonist goes on rampage through villages setting at least 40 cars alight


? Licensed to London News Pictures; Bradley Stoke, South Gloucestershire, UK; 03/04/2022; council vans are seen burnt out at Bradley Stoke Town Council in a spate of suspected arson attacks with up to 40 vehicles damaged or destroyed in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Bradley Stoke over Saturday night/Sunday morning. Photo credit: Simon Chapman/LNP.
Two council vans were reduced to blackened shells at Bradley Stoke town hall in south Gloucestershire (Picture: LNP)

At least 40 vehicles have been torched by a rampaging arsonist travelling through several small towns and villages ‘on an e-scooter’.

Four minibuses and more than a dozen cars at a Rolls Royce site in south Gloucestershire were among the vehicles set on fire in the ‘appalling’ night of carnage.

Some fuel tanks exploded during the fires, waking up residents to the sound of loud bangs in the early hours on Sunday.

The first blaze was reported at 1.30am in the village of Stoke Gifford. Two hours later at 3.45am, around 20 vehicles were found on fire in the Rolls Royce car park in nearby Filton.

By 5.30am, a further 20 vehicles were set alight across Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Gifford.

Bradley Stoke mayor Tom Aditya said it’s believed the arsonists used e-scooters due to the timings between the fires.

He said: ‘We are looking at different possibilities because with the amount of cars that have been attacked and the distance they travelled, it is actually thought some kind of e-scooter could be involved.’

A Rolls-Royce car park was among the targets as up to 20 cars were set on fire in a night of chaos in south Gloucestershire. Vehicles were damaged at the manufacturer's site in Filton, on the outskirts of Bristol, in the early hours of this morning [April 3]. Caption: Fire at the Rolls-Royce site in Filton, Gloucestershire, on 3 April 2022
Smoke fills the night sky at the Rolls Royce factory where more than a dozens cars were set on fire in the car park (Picture: BPM Media)
? Licensed to London News Pictures; Stoke Gifford, South Gloucestershire, UK; 03/04/2022; Two cars are seen burnt out in Gatcombe Drive in a spate of suspected arson attacks with up to 40 vehicles damaged or destroyed in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Bradley Stoke over Saturday night/Sunday morning. Photo credit: Simon Chapman/LNP.
A Mini Cooper and another car was found torched in Gatcombe Drive, Stoke Gifford (Picture: LNP)

‘Such a low day for our happy area,’ Cllr Angela Morey said on Twitter.

‘Can’t believe the malice in torching the four towns community minibuses, a vital service for so many in north Bristol.

‘This cruel act has long lasting repercussions and I will do whatever I can to help. Call 101 with any information.’

The burned out remains are making it difficult to trace some of the car owners, although several vehicles belonged to the local council.

? Licensed to London News Pictures; Stoke Gifford, South Gloucestershire, UK; 03/04/2022; council vans are seen burnt out at Little Stoke Park in a spate of suspected arson attacks with up to 40 vehicles damaged or destroyed in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Bradley Stoke over Saturday night/Sunday morning. Photo credit: Simon Chapman/LNP.
The arsonists targeted another council vehicle in Stoke Gifford (Picture: LNP)

Detectives are now appealing for people to come forward with information or CCTV footage.

Despite the widespread carnage, there have been no reports of injuries or damage to buildings.

In a statement, Avon and Somerset Police said: ‘Officers are working closely with the fire and rescue service to respond to these incidents.

‘Officers will be carrying out house-to-house enquiries and making a thorough investigation alongside Avon Fire and Rescue Service.’

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Bristol – Metro