A NORTH Bendigo man has been arrested and charged by Bendigo Crime Investigation Unit detectives in relation to a series of car fires in October.
Police executed a search warrant at a North Bendigo address on Friday, October 29 where they seized several items including a number of fuel cans.
On Tuesday, police charged the 21-year-old North Bendigo man with six counts of criminal damage by fire.
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Bendigo Crime Investigation Unit Detective Senior Constable Regan Oxford said after several weeks of concerted investigations, police had charged a person in relation to the car fires.
"(Laying charges) brings justice to the car owners and the local community who have been terrified by these incidents," he said.
"Deliberately lit fires of any kind are frightening and extremely concerning, but when a car goes up in flames it poses a huge threat to the safety of all those nearby, which in all of these cases were residents of a quiet street.
"Police have absolutely zero tolerance for those who play with fire, particularly as we draw closer to bushfire season.
"We take arson attacks very seriously and we will stop at nothing to catch those who threaten community safety with fire."
Deliberately lit fires of any kind are frightening and extremely concerning, but when a car goes up in flames it poses a huge threat to the safety of all those nearby.Bendigo Crime Investigation Unit Detective Senior Constable Regan Oxford
The 21-year-old man is accused of starting the following six car fires, including four on the same night:
Police allege on October 9 about 12.30am, officers were called to Bannister Street where the bonnet area of a blue Hyundai Elantra had allegedly been set on fire.
The same morning about 1.30am, police were again called to Bannister Street where the same blue Hyundai Elantra had allegedly been set on fire, this time from the rear of the vehicle.
Just two hours later about 3.30am, police were once again called to the same street for the third time where the engine bay of a Toyota Corolla, parked opposite the first car, had allegedly been set on fire.
While police were attending the third car fire in Bannister Street, officers were alerted to another car fire about 20 metres away where the engine bay of a Toyota Hilux had allegedly been set on fire at the same time.
Two weeks later, on October 24 about 2.30am, police were called to Norfolk Street where the engine bay of a vehicle parked in the driveway of a residential property had allegedly been set on fire.
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While police were attending the car fire in Norfolk Street, officers observed a glow in the distance and discovered a car in nearby Bannister Street had also allegedly been set on fire.
Fire authorities attended all six car fires and extinguished the flames before clearing each scene - all five cars were destroyed.
The 21-year-old man was remanded to face Bendigo Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
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