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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Milton Police Have No Suspects In Car Bombings

Appen Newspapers

MILTON -- Someone lobbing homemade Molotov cocktails burned three cars in Milton in six separate incidents during the night of Thursday, July 24, and early morning of Friday, July 25. Milton police and arson investigators have no suspects and little to go on.Milton police said the six separate fires started over a period of four hours, from just before 11 p.m. until nearly 3 a.m. in five city subdivisions in and around the area of Ga. 9. They apparently were started using Molotov cocktail-style bottles of accelerant with a rag fuse. Only five caused damage - one extensively burned Mercedes Benz C 230, two moderately burned cars - a Honda Accord and Mercedes C 280 - and two burned driveways. In addition, one device was found in Crooked Creek that had caused no damage.

Capt. Mike Stephens, a battalion officer for Milton's Fire Department, said the case is being investigated by both Milton police's Criminal Investigations Division and the Fire Department's arson investigator."At this point we do not know the exact chemistry of the accelerant used, but all six devices were of the same homemade design," he said.Investigators will analyze the devices searching for clues as to who could have gone on a firebombing spree in mostly crime-free Milton, Stephens said."These are very unusual events, especially in a community like ours," he said.

No one was hurt in what police are deeming the "random" firebombings. There are no suspects, but a witness described "a loud Ford or Chevrolet pickup truck in the area during at least one of these events," authorities said.

Milton's Public Safety Department said the Fulton County dispatch got the first call about the incidents shortly before 11 p.m. at 13307 Region Trace, in the Court at Windward Village subdivision off Cogburn Road.Stephens said a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the house, but missed and burned in the driveway instead.A little more than three hours later, another call came in for a similar fire shortly after 2 a.m. on Keyingham Way in the Fairmont subdivision, a little more than 1.5 miles from the first call. Upon arrival firefighters found a vehicle in the driveway of 3070 Keyingham Way on fire.As this fire was being handled, two additional vehicle fires were reported within minutes of each other. The second was at 13591 Weycroft Circle at 2:23 a.m. It is also in the Fairmont subdivision. It was followed at 2:34 a.m. by another vehicle fire at 305 Galecrest Drive, which is in the Windcrest Park townhomes off Bethany Road.Those two fires and last car bombing are about 2 miles apart by car, but less than half that on foot. The vehicle on Gaylecrest Drive is a total loss, Stephens said.Like the first call, the fifth incident on Sun Valley Drive shortly before 3 a.m. missed its intended target and burned a driveway instead. The last incident, on Crystalaire Court in upscale Crooked Creek, missed as well.Only police officers responded to the Sun Valley incident because firefighters were tied up with the other calls.Anyone with information can contact Capt. John Dancses of the Milton Fire Department at 404-867-2195.

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