'reckless and dangerous' | 

Australian cops say Irishman suspected of starting 16 fires is ‘escalating’ attacks

He is wanted in connection with at least 16 fires in Melbourne, St Kilda, Balaclava and Prahran in the last four weeks

An arson attack linked to James McArdle

Suspected arsonist James McArdle

Suspected arsonist James McArdle

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

Police in Australia have warned that an Irishman wanted for arson is escalating his attacks after they released video footage of an incident where he set a Melbourne business alight.

In the video, James McArdle (29) is seen pouring methylated spirits onto a bag of aerosol cans in the entryway to a building. He can then be seen running from the scene.

McArdle is wanted in connection with at least 16 fires in Melbourne, St Kilda, Balaclava and Prahran in the last four weeks.

During a press conference, Detective Senior Constable Mallory Bubb said: “His behaviour is escalating in circumstances relating to the arsons. Very reckless and dangerous.

Suspected arsonist James McArdle

“For example, one yesterday was in the rear of a business; had anyone exited the business at that time the aerosol container that was lit on fire could have possibly been destructive to further persons or property there.”

Earlier this month, police issued a warrant for his arrest.

McArdle is described as 180cm tall, of medium build, with brown hair. He also speaks with an Irish accent.

He has a number of tattoos, including one on his left arm which reads: “Only the strong survive”.

Anyone who sights McArdle or has information about his whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.


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