‘Why did they torch my car?’ Letchworth teenager wants answers

burnt wheel

burnt wheel - Credit: Archant

A teenager has been left devastated after a car he’d saved up for himself was torched in an arson attack on Friday night.

burnt inside

burnt inside - Credit: Archant

Robert Mcaneny, 17, had only been driving for a few months after saving hard for lessons, insurance and his precious Volkswagen Polo.

But the firebug attack in Meadow Way, Letchworth, caused substantial damage to the car’s interior.

Robert’s grandfather Martin Allen said: “They’d used a spray aerosol can. He’s 17, he’s got himself a job and has saved up for this car.

“He paid for all the lessons and the car himself.

“Why do people do such a thing, is it for kicks? People just don’t seem to respect other people’s property.

“I’m completely gutted for my grandson. He’s been left completely shocked.”

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The arson attack follows a spate of similar incidents in Letchworth.

Police say there have been 11 reported cases of cars being set alight in the town between January 1 and February 21.

In most of the incidents the wing mirrors have been set alight but in some cases the fire has spread and caused extensive damage.

At around 12.20am on Saturday a green Skoda Roomster was set alight in The Crescent, following overnight damage to the wing mirrors of a black BMW in Meadow Way and a Nissan Almera in Bowershott.

On Friday night, the same night Robert’s car was set on fire, a white Ford Transit van in Shott Lane and a Citroen Berlingo in Rushby Mead were also set alight, causing extensive damage.

On Saturday, the wing mirrors of both a dark blue Citroen Picasso and a blue Ford Fiesta were damaged in Meadow Way.

In January a grey Citroen Picasso was burnt out and a Volkswagen Transporter set alight in Jarden in the early hours of the morning.

On New Year’s Day a silver Honda CRV was set alight, with the fire spreading to the blue Vauxhall Astra parked next to it.

Investigating officer Det Sgt Alex Willcox said: “Arson is an extremely dangerous crime and these mindless incidents have not only caused concern for the victims but will naturally have caused some concern within the wider community.

“I would like to reassure the residents of Letchworth that we are taking this very seriously and have increased patrols in the area.

“We have a dedicated team of detectives and police officers continuously working on these crimes and we are determined to bring whoever is responsible to justice.”

Anyone with information or who may have any CCTV footage which could help the investigation is asked to contact Det Sgt Willcox via the police non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.