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Dereham arson attack potentially linked to a burglary in North Elmham

PUBLISHED: 06:00 18 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:10 18 August 2017

Police are treating the car fire as arson. Picture: Ian Clarke

Police are treating the car fire as arson. Picture: Ian Clarke

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Norfolk Police have confirmed they are investigating if a deliberate car fire in Dereham is linked to a burglary in North Elmham.

The blue VW Golf estate was stolen from Street Farm Loke in North Elmham during a burglary on August 9, sometime between 11pm and 5.20am.

The suspects broke into the property and stole various items including the keys to the car, which was subsequently stolen from the driveway.

At around 5.30am on August 10 the car was spotted on fire on Lilac Close in Dereham and police confirmed that the blaze was started deliberately.

Local resident Charlie Wood described the sound of the burning car as like gunshots.

“There were three very loud bangs, I thought they were gun shots,” he said.

“Then there was a 20 to 30 second horn sound. I thought someone had been shot and was holding their hand on horn to get attention. I jumped out of bed and saw thick black smoke and that was when I dialled 999.”

The burglary in North Elmham was not the only one to take place in the area on August 9. In a seperate incident, intruders also broke in to the home of Sherree and Dave Willmott on De-Narde Road sometime between 9.30pm and 5.20am.

Police said they believe they gained access to the property through an insecure window.

Mrs Willmott was in the house with her husband at the time and said that only cash was stolen but it could have been worse.

“We only had money taken but they had also been through some drawers. We think my husband disturbed them, which made them leave,” she said.

“The dog barked in the night and my husband went down to check. Everything seemed ok and he came back upstairs to bed but when I got up for work at around 5.10am I noticed that everything was not as it was the night before.

“It was a horrible experience and it has made us feel uncomfortable in our own home - just knowing they came in while we were in.

“I think Dereham has become a lot rougher than it used to be but I think that is just how it is now though. Life in general, everywhere is the same, everywhere seems rougher than they were before.”

Anyone with information on these crimes should contact Norfolk Police on 101.

MORE: Police say car fire in Dereham is being treated as arson

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