Reward offered to stop arsonists

CATCH these firebugs now – before someone is killed!That is the cry to the public tonight because there must be someone who knows who is setting the fires which are leaving people in west Felixstowe afraid for their property and their lives.

CATCH these firebugs now – before someone is killed!

That is the cry to the public tonight because there must be someone who knows who is setting the fires which are leaving people in west Felixstowe afraid for their property and their lives.

Today businessman Stephen Flynn – victim of one of the arson attacks – is putting up a £1,000 reward to help catch the culprits and The Evening Star has agreed to double the money by matching that sum.

"I think there must be someone out there who knows who is causing these fires, whether they are being done by one person or a gang," said Mr Flynn.

"Someone must have seen something which could help the police. They should come forward now before something worse happens, before someone is killed.

"When the caravans were torched at the caravan park, those who set light to the gas pipes didn't know that there was not someone sleeping in there," Mr Flynn said.

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"What has happened already is bad enough, but something dreadful will happen. I am determined these people will be caught and that is why I am putting up this."

Mr Flynn, 40, lost £10,000 of stock when the fire-raisers torched a storage container next to his Coronation Drive home in December. He has now installed CCTV and security spotlights.

He said his 11-year-old son Liam was left terrified by the incident and is still having nightmares.

"He is still frightened and has dreams of flames shooting up outside his window," said Mr Flynn, whose shop Flynn Star Bicycles is in Constable Road, Felixstowe.

"The fire at my property has cost me thousands and had it not been for the help I had from companies it could have put me out of business, closed me down."

Over the past two years there have been nearly a dozen arson attacks. Police are not ruling out a connection between each spate of fires but are not linking them at this stage.

Last Friday a Ford Transit van was set on fire in Coronation Drive at about 11.20pm. While this was being dealt with a Volvo 340 was destroyed in Stour Avenue.

In December, over two nights, gas pipes were set alight at Felixstowe Beach Holiday Park in Walton Avenue, damaging four caravans, Mr Flynn's cycle container torched, and a skip, storage shed and shower cubicle damaged at the Dooley pub in Ferry Lane.

A few months earlier, three fires were set within half an hour – two cars in Margaret Street, a storage building at the Co-op in Wadgate Road, and a camper van in the same street.

Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen or heard suspicious activity to come forward as they may have vital information which could track down the arsonist. People should call Felixstowe police on 01473 613500.

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