By Angelos Anastasiou
FOURTEEN cars were torched and failed attempts were made to set fire to three other cars in the early hours of Monday in various areas of Limassol, police said.
According to a statement, police were notified of the arsons between 12.20am and 2am.
Police collected evidence from the various crime scenes, while the fire brigade put the burning vehicles out. The cars were parked and locked in ground-level parking spaces of blocks of flats and in other areas in Limassol.
“These arsons were carried out within a relatively small area,” a police source said, adding that “they appear to be connected.” One car was completely destroyed by the fire, six were severely damaged, and the remaining seven sustained minor damage.
In the course of investigations, police spotted three individuals moving suspiciously in the area, including a 34-year-old male. Two of the three individuals were released as no evidence was found linking them to the case, but the 34-year-old was arrested after half a gramme of crystal meth was found on his person.
Subsequent investigation of his car revealed a small plastic tank containing gasoline, as well as approximately 10 boxes of paper.
According to a statement by one eye-witness, the man had been seen gathering papers from a nearby garbage bin shortly before the incidents.
State radio reported that the suspect filled little boxes with paper, placed one under each car, and set them on fire.
It later emerged that the suspect had been known to police through earlier drug-related cases. The suspect was brought before the Limassol District Court later on Monday and remanded for eight days.
During the night, another car was torched and destroyed completely in Nicosia.
According to a police spokesman cited by the Cyprus News Agency, the fire was reported by the car’s owner about thirty minutes after midnight. The car was also parked and locked in the parking space of the block of flats where its owner resides.