The remains of two burnt out cars at Monaltrie, near Lismore. A mysterious message, “Sorry Todd”, has been painted on the road. The shell of a burnt out van (above right) near Clunes.
The remains of two burnt out cars at Monaltrie, near Lismore. A mysterious message, “Sorry Todd”, has been painted on the road. The shell of a burnt out van (above right) near Clunes. Contributed

Arson leaves trail of burnt-out vehicles across area

A SPATE of arson has left an array of burnt-out vehicles throughout the Northern Rivers.

Reports by citizens on social media, and confirmation of several Ballina fires by Richmond police, has shed light on at least four different incidents.

Two boats at a Ballina residence were also hit.

Burnt-out cars remain at the roadside across the region, acting as a reminder to secure vehicles.

"Lock your car. If you don't, it will definitely cause a few problems," Richmond LAC duty officer Inspector Susie Johnston said.

"Also make sure you don't keep your keys somewhere too obvious inside your home," Insp Johnson said.

She said vehicle fires often followed a theft.

She encouraged Northern Rivers residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police immediately.

A Lismore City Council spokeswoman said Northern Rivers residents needed to contact police if they wanted a vehicle removed.

After any investigations, including forensic examinations, police would contact councils, which would place a notification on the car warning of impoundment after seven days.

"We then obtain the details of the last registered vehicle owner and send a letter to them notifying them they have 7 days to remove the vehicle from receipt of the letter. If not removed, the vehicle is impounded," the spokeswoman said.

"The owner then receives a notice of seizure letting them know it has been

impounded (police receive this as well).

"We would then send the owner an infringement notice of $550 for abandoning a vehicle in a public place.

"If (the) council is unable to find the details of the owner, we auction/tender the vehicle or if it is a wreck it is destroyed."

The spokeswoman said most cars were not worth tendering and were instead crushed and destroyed.


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