Fire, break-ins and criminal damage hit Ottery

PUBLISHED: 17:01 17 January 2019

The window was blackened by fire. Picture: Rob McGovern

The window was blackened by fire. Picture: Rob McGovern

Archant

Ottery shops and pubs have been damaged with doors being scorched and windows smashed after a bout of crime left its mark.

The front of Pearson's Newsagents had its window smashed. Picture: Karen PearsonThe front of Pearson's Newsagents had its window smashed. Picture: Karen Pearson

Police attended three separate incidents throughout the week involving criminal damage, suspicious fires and a suspected burglary.

Wednesday night (January 9) saw the King’s Arms pub on Gold Street set a light causing damage to the windows and door.

Landlord James Kirkness said he initially thought the orange light being produced by the flames was a gritter as it was a cold night but as it drew closer, he found a knee-high fire at his door.

He found a discarded petrol bottle and assumed that had been used to fuel the fire which grew to nine feet before James and his staff managed to extinguish it.

The front of Pearson's Newsagents had its window smashed. Picture: Karen PearsonThe front of Pearson's Newsagents had its window smashed. Picture: Karen Pearson

The damage to the pub had been minimal with just scorch marks and a broken window evident and James was keen to stress the pub would be open as normal, he remarked: “Let’s be honest, if you’re going to try and scare a pub in Ottery with a fire, you’re using the wrong thing with the [history of] tar barrels.”

The police are currently treating the fire as suspicious with enquiries ongoing to establish the cause of the blaze.

If you know any more information that may assist the police, contact them on 101 and quote the reference number CR/002900/19.

Silver Street newsagents Pearson’s News had a window smashed when it was hit with a bottle.

The front of Pearson's Newsagents had its window smashed. Picture: Karen PearsonThe front of Pearson's Newsagents had its window smashed. Picture: Karen Pearson

Karen Pearson said the damage had only been found the day after, when staff arrived at 5.15am to open the store, meaning the attack occurred overnight between Tuesday (January 8) and Wednesday (January 9).

Karen also said there had been no sign of an attempted break-in but they did find a miniature bottle which had been thrown at the window to cause the damage.

Police are investigating the incident and anyone who has information is asked to phone them on 101 quoting CR/002626/19.

On the same night, police were also alerted of a suspected burglary at a property in Strawberry Lane.

Fire damage was visible. Picture: Rob McGovernFire damage was visible. Picture: Rob McGovern

A suspected burglar forced their way in during the night and if anyone has information on this incident, the reference number is CR/002639/19.

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