Police progress in solving series of car fires

By Myles Peterson

Shepparton’s Crime Investigation Unit has made progress solving a spate of car fires that occurred across the Mooroopna and Kialla area in the past fortnight.

Detective Sergeant Mark Crossley said a suspect was in custody and helping police with their investigation.

Det Sgt Crossley said the man was charged with handling goods stolen during the burglary of a Norton Dve property.

‘‘He has been interviewed in relation to the (first four) car fires and investigations are continuing. Police still need the public’s assistance to solve these crimes,’’ he said.

The first four fires occurred after cars were allegedly stolen during burglaries of properties in Mooroopna and Shepparton.

Shepparton police has reportedly made inquiries of more than 120 houses in the area of the car fires to gather information, but asked for the public’s help to find more details.

A burnt-out car found on Tuesday night in a paddock off Macisaac Rd was the fifth torched car discovered within the past two weeks.

Unlike the previous four fires, the car has not been reported to have been stolen at this stage, but police said it might have been abandoned at the site for up to two weeks.

Police are also investigating that fire and believe the vehicle was a blue Toyota Corolla.

They have not confirmed if it is related to the previous four burglaries and alleged acts of car arson.

On June 28, a Holden Captiva was found on fire behind the Mooroopna train station.

The vehicle had been reportedly stolen from Norton Dve that night and was allegedly used in an attempted ram raid.

A Holden Astra was found alight behind the Mooroopna Scout Hall about 3am on June 30.

It had been allegedly stolen from a Kaeila Crt house the previous evening.

On July 2, a 2004 Nissan X-Trail was reportedly found behind Moira Park Scout Camp at Kialla West.

The vehicle was allegedly stolen from Swallow St, Shepparton, on June 30.

On July 3, a 2010 Honda was found on Toolamba Rd, which was also stolen from the same Swallow St address on June 23.

Shepparton police has asked anyone with information on any of the car fires and alleged burglaries to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.