Van driven into house and set on fire - two men arrested in connection with two arson attacks in South Shields

Two men have been arrested following two arson attacks in South Shields including an incident where a van was driven into a house and set on fire.

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 11:03 pm

Shortly after 11.50pm on Sunday, April 19, a van had been driven into a house and set on fire at an address on Witton Avenue, in South Shields.

Police officers were called to the scene and, thankfully, nobody was injured in the incident but significant damage was caused to the property.

The following night, shortly after 11.30pm on Monday, officers were alerted by the fire service to a blaze at a house on Lilac Avenue, South Shields. An accelerant had been thrown outside the house and set alight.

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Northumbria Police has released pictures of the van as an investigation into two arson attacks are carried out.

Two men have been arrested in relation to the incidents but have been released under investigation.

Detectives investigating the arson attacks, which are being treated as linked, and are now appealing for anybody with information to come forward.

Images of the van used in the initial incident have been released, with the vehicle having several distinctive markings or features including bull bars on the front and a Union Jack sticker to the rear.

Detective Chief Inspector Sean Mcguigan, of Northumbria Police, said: “Both of these incidents were incredibly dangerous and could easily have resulted in serious injuries for the occupants.

The van was driven into a house on Witton Avenue and set on fire

“Thankfully, that was not the case but we will not tolerate this kind of behaviour and an investigation is ongoing to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.

“We do not believe this was a random attack and understand all those involved were known to each other. As part of our enquiries, we have arrested two men who have since been released under investigation and we will be speaking to a number of other people over the coming days.

“I would ask the public to take a close look at the pictures of the van, which is fairly distinctive – and we want anybody who saw it in the South Tyneside area last week to come forward.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of the website quoting log 1239 190420. Alternatively email [email protected] or contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Northumbria Police were called to two arson attacks within 24 hours of each other.

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Two men were arrested and have since been released under investigation.

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