At least one of three cars destroyed by flames in Auckland’s Avondale was doused in a substance before it was lit on fire in a matter of minutes, in footage shown to the Herald.
Police are investigating the crime spree on Victor St, which woke startled neighbours in the dead of the night.
A video capturing the offending shows a car pulling up outside a property at 2.50am before two people jumped out.
One person could be seen spilling a substance over the windscreen of one car parked on a berm outside the property, while another person ran to two other nearby parked cars, including a black Range Rover.
An object was thrown at one car before a flash of light as the car instantly caught fire.
Two other parked cars, not captured in the video, were also were destroyed by fire.
Two minutes later the group of people had fled the scene in a vehicle.
One neighbour told the Herald their dog barked and they heard people shouting on the street, before a big “bang”. They ventured outside to see three cars on fire and police and Fire and Emergency crews arriving.
They said the fires were “pretty scary” but not too unusual for the Avondale area. Their cars have previously been found “scratched up”, so now they park in their driveway and not on the street, they told the Herald.
Another neighbour who had lived on the street for 15 years said he had never seen anything like it before. He believed the offending was targeted and he was not worried about his own property.
A number of neighbours reported that the house the cars were parked outside was gang-affiliated.
A few had seen patched gang members on motorcycles enter and leave the property more than once.
Police said there is no indication of gang links to the offending at this stage in the investigation.
“Police were alerted to a report of three car fires on Victor Street, Avondale at around 3am,” they said.
“All vehicles were on the street. Inquiries are ongoing.”
This afternoon locals were seen taking photos and peering at the charred remains of the three vehicles from their driveways.
Next to the cars, the smell of smoke was still strong.
A woman posted on Facebook that the three cars belonged to her and her family.
“I worked so hard to pay for this car. I got it when I was 19,” said one of the owners on Facebook.
“I have paid way over 10k and still have 4K left with no insurance.
“I can’t even describe the feeling. Who the f**k could do this?
“My poor family has suffered and some cowards have think they have accomplished something great.”
She was pleased her family were safe but said the situation was “f**ked”.
A Givealittle page has been set up to help the family who have been left with “no transport”.
The Herald has tried to contact the owners.
No injuries were reported.
A fourth car was burned out near Mt Smart Stadium. It is unclear if it was linked.
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