A recent string of car fires across Orange is sparking recollections of a city-wide scourge in 2018 and 2019, which resulted in nearly 100 cars being torched, and police have confirmed an investigation into the most recent incident is underway.
A stolen BMW was dumped and torched in Leone Healy Park, off Adina Crescent, early on Wednesday morning and added to a growing list of vehicle fires emergency services have dealt with so far in 2021, it's at least the sixth this year.
it's very concerning whenever we have fires that destroy property and certainly considering the history in Orange.Chief Inspector David Harvey
Along with the BMW destroyed on Wednesday at least two of those other incidents have involved stolen vehicles which were then burnt out, with at least one other car fire this year being confirmed to be deliberately lit.
Chief Inspector David Harvey, of Central West Police District, confirmed the investigation into this week's latest blaze is underway and urged anyone with information that could assist inquiries relating to that incident to come forward.
He wasn't able to provide any more detail into the ongoing investigation or confirm if police believe the string of incidents this year, the first of which occurred on January 1, are linked in any way.
"The most recent car fire is under investigation, we're asking anyone who might have information to come forward to assist that investigation," he said.
"Obviously it's very concerning whenever we have fires that destroy property and certainly considering the history in Orange.
"There has been some time between that big spate of car fires in previous years and now, but investigations are underway so we're doing everything we can."
That previous spate of car fires in late 2018 and throughout 2019 spanned a number of months and was chronicled in the Central Western Daily's five-part series titled The Burning Issue.
It became an epidemic which left sections of the community fearful, including one two-time victim who admitted to being 'shit-scared' of being targeted a third time.
At the time, police put incredible resources into halting those persons involved in the incidents and made a number of arrests relating to them, the success of their broad operation has been revealed with a decline in similar incidents since.
Specifically, the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics' most-recent quarterly update, released last month, showed the number of motor vehicle thefts dropped by more than 30 per cent in 2020 compared to the previous year.
There was an even bigger decline in the number of arson offences, which dropped by more than 50 per cent throughout in 2020, compared to the previous 12 months.
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