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The ugly secret of a town’s fire

Posted by on 29/06/2018

Acting Supt Haydn Downes launches his appeal. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSONSource: The Border Mail

POLICE believe someone at Beechworth knows who and why the town’s police station and an officer’s car were set on fire in August and they want them to come forward.

“This was a disgraceful act,” Victoria Police eastern region Acting Supt Haydn Downes said yesterday when issuing a fresh appeal for information.

“This is not just an attack against Victoria Police, it’s an attack against the community of Beechworth.”

Emergency services called to the unattended station early on August 12 to find an officer’s private car well alight.

The fire then quickly spread to the station’s roof and caused minor damage.

Acting Supt Downes said the incident was “extremely serious”.

Beechworth is a small town and someone had to be talking.

“We believe someone knows something about this — it’s a big secret to keep,” he said.

“Someone must know who it is or have a suspicion of who it was.

“We have considerable resources dedicated to this, locally and from the arson explosion squad in Melbourne.”

Security footage shows two men breaking the station’s Williams Street back gate at 2.15am.

Melbourne forensic experts, who collected evidence at the scene, have been handed two petrol cans found at the intersection of Sydney Road and Gorge Road the day after the fire.

Police said they would not release the name of the police officer who owned the car.

“We believe it was a targeted attack on the station,” Acting Supt Downes said.

Security at stations across Victoria is being reviewed in the light of this and the incident outside the Endeavour Hills station last month in which a terrorism suspect was shot dead after he stabbed two officers.

Phone all information to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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