Some of Ballarat's top police members have voiced their concerns over the sheer amount of car fires that have happened this year.
The Courier has reported on a minimum of 20 separate suspicious car fires in 2019, which amounts to on average one car fire every three-and-a-half days.
Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Argall says the frequency of the blazes are a major worry for police.
"It's a big concern," he said.
Senior Sergeant Argall says the types of offences always fall into two distinct categories.
"The majority of these blazes are a result of cars that have been stolen and subsequently dumped after joy-rides or further offending," he said.
"They're dumped out of town and torched, presumably to destroy evidence."
When looking at what the public can do to help protect themselves against these types of offences, Senior Sergeant Argall says securing your property is the most important thing to do.
"Ensuring your car, garage and homes are locked goes a long way. These offenders are often opportunistic crooks who will check if you've left your car unlocked or home unlocked. They'll just keep searching until they can't get any further and then go to the next home."
These type of stealing and dumping incidents carry a significant fire risk, as they are often dumped in heavily bushed areas, carrying the potential for grass fires.
The second type of offending is potentially more disturbing, as it appears to be something nearly impossible for some to protect against.
At least five of the 20 car fires have occurred via cars being deliberately set alight on the street or in driveways, including two on Sunday night.
Unfortunately, Senior Sergeant Argall said there's 'not a whole lot people can do' in protecting their cars near or on their property from this small group of recidivist offenders.
"A large quantity of Ballarat lives in homes without garages and car ports. These random offenders are hard to patrol."
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