Police Arrest Man After Thomastown Arson Attack

Detectives from Taskforce Lunar have arrested a man following an arson attack at a reception centre in Thomastown last week.

A search warrant was executed at a residential address in St Albans shortly before 9am this morning.

A 20-year-old St Albans man was taken into custody and will now be interviewed by police.

He is expected to be charged with two counts of criminal damage by fire, reckless conduct endangering serious injury, theft of motor vehicle and commit indictable offence whilst on bail.

This morning’s activity follows an incident on Thursday, 22 February where emergency services were called to reports of a fire at a reception centre on Settlement Road in Thomastown shortly after 6am.

Investigators will allege a man exited a stolen Ford Ranger in the carpark of a business next door to the reception centre around 5.50am.

The man allegedly sets the premises alight, before fleeing the scene in the same vehicle which is later found burnt out on Nathan Court in Bundoora about 6.25am.

Nobody was physically injured during the incident, but the building sustained significant damage.

Investigators believe the venue was likely targeted due to an event scheduled to be held there.

Anyone with information on any organised crime activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

Quotes attributable to Detective Inspector Graham Banks, Taskforce Lunar:

“We’ve seen a number of significant arsons occur over the last week, and I can fully understand the community’s concern. Our investigations into all of the incidents are progressing.

“Disrupting these syndicates and ending this criminality remains a priority for Victoria Police. Since the inception of Taskforce Lunar, we’ve made over 20 arrests, with a further 70 arrests by the VIPER Taskforce relating to illicit tobacco offending and the associated groups.

“There is no doubt that the arrests we’ve made this week are important, and they will likely provide further avenues of enquiry for us. We will target everyone involved, at every level, for their roles in this offending.”

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