14 cars destroyed in string of arsons

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – A Roswell community is on edge after more than a dozen cars have been set on fire.

“That’s very scary,” said Martha Leyba.

It has victims frustrated.

“I’m a little hurt about it,” said Richard Tripp.

It also as the Roswell Fire Department searching for answers.

“We are following and chasing every lead we have and hopefully something will come up from that,” said Roswell Deputy Fire Marshall Matt Miller.

Fourteen vehicles have been set on fire since November; four of them in May.

Investigators say most of the fires have similarities like the car’s color, its location, the time it was torched and how it was lit.

KRQE News 13 asked detectives why they haven’t been able to connect the fires if they have so many similarities.

“So far we just haven’t gotten enough evidence to connect each one for sure,” said Miller.

Detectives say it’s possible a serial arsonist is behind it all, but they don’t have any suspects.

Richard Tripp, whose car caught fire Monday, is hoping the department can put a stop the fires soon.

“It’s kind of a pointless thing to be doing. They’re not gaining anything out of it. They’re just costing people lots of money,” said Tripp.

Other residents agree.

“For a community like Roswell, it’s just too much,” said Martha Leyba.

The fire department says all of the vehicles have been parked near homes and all but one have been set on fire in the middle of the night. They say in most of those cases the car was either unlocked or the window was down.

Investigators have sent evidence from a majority of the cars to the state crime lab and are waiting for it to be analyzed.

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