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Feb 1, 2016 12:00 AM

Cars broken into then set on fire in Portsmouth, police looking for leads


PORTSMOUTH: Police are asking for the public’s help, as they continue to investigate several car thefts and arsons that happened over the weekend.

“Yeah it was pretty much engulfed. It was going,” said Francis Cormeier, recalling the car fire he witnessed outside his home on Melbourne Street in Portsmouth.

Char marks were still left on the ground, days later where the car was parked before someone broke in and set it on fire from the inside.

Cormeier said he remembers seeing the yellow glow from inside his bedroom and then calling 9-1-1.

Within a 24- hour period, police got several reports of vehicles that were rummaged through, had items stolen from them, and then were lit on fire.

“I mean it would be nice to be able to trust everyone but yeah this doesn’t sound like a normal every day event," said Jeff Brown, of Gloucester, Mass. "My brother always says locks keep honest people honest.”

All the vehicles that were broken into were unlocked, police said. They advised everyone keep their cars locked.

Anyone with information is asked to call Seacoast Crime Stoppers at 603-431-1199. You could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if your information leads to an arrest and indictment.

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