Garage burned after stolen car seized

ARSONISTS blitzed an Ipswich garage today as they as ruthlessly targeted a stolen Land Rover which had been recovered by police and was awaiting forensic examination.

CRIMINALS broke into an Ipswich garage and burnt it down just hours before police were due to investigate one of the cars inside.

Staff from the Chancery Garage, in Great Whip Street, had been asked to collect a car on behalf of the Ipswich police at 6.30pm yesterday .

Scenes of Crime officers were then due to collect the car this morning and investigate it in connection with it being a stolen vehicle.

The Land Rover Freelander had not been removed from the back of a tow-truck and was stored inside the garage when someone broke in and started the fire in it.

Neil Winney, director of Chancery Garage, said: “When we went to pick it up we were not told anything about the crime it had been used in - just that Scenes of Crime officers would be coming today for it.

“It was locked and there were no keys with it so we couldn't have got inside even if we wanted to, but there didn't appear to be much inside.”

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However one of the car doors was left open after the fire and it is thought to have been unlikely to have come open in the fire.

The suspected arsonists gained entry to the garage by forcing open the door despite there being three locks on it.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 5.30am when staff from neighbouring company DHL noticed the flames.

It is thought the fire had been burning for some time before anyone had noticed it and had damaged four other cars and two recovery vehicles, as well as leaving a massive hole in the roof.

But the main damage was done to the Land Rover which had its petrol cap and door handles completely melted, all windows broken and even its tyres completely melted.

A spokesman for the fire service in Princes Street, Ipswich, said: “The fire was already well established by the time crews got to the scene.

“We can confirm that the most likely place for the fire to have started is in the Land Rover because of the amount of damage to this vehicle.”

A spokeswoman for Ipswich police said: “Scenes of Crime officers were due to examine the vehicle today.

“It was a suspected stolen vehicle and we had asked the garage to recover it. We will be looking into the fire for any suspicious circumstances.”

Did you see the fire? Do you own one of the vehicles inside? Contact the newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail