A man has been arrested as part of investigations into three separate arson attacks at supplement stores across Sydney, including two in St Marys.
The first incident happened in July 2019 when a store in Queen Street, St Marys was targeted.
A blaze was extinguished by Fire and Rescue NSW and the business sustained significant damage. No injuries were reported during the incident.
Two men had been seen allegedly attempting to enter the premises, before breaking through the security shutters and setting the business on fire. The pair were last seen fleeing the area on foot on Chapel Street toward East Lane.
More than a year later, in November 2020, emergency services were called to the same business, following reports of a fire. The blaze was extinguished by Fire and Rescue NSW and the business sustained significant damage. Again no injuries were reported.
During initial inquiries, police identified that a black Audi sedan reversed into the store, ramming the security shutters, before an unknown man exited the vehicle and allegedly set the business on fire. The Audi was last seen travelling east along Debrincat Avenue heading toward the Mt Druitt area.
Another incident forming part of the police investigation occurred in Rouse Hill last year.
Today, officers arrested a 33-year-old man from Whalan in relation to the investigation.
“Today’s outcome is we believe the commencement of a phase of action in bringing these people to justice,” said Detective Inspector Richard Puffett.
“Following a public appeal last month we received a considerable amount of information and on top of that our investigators have been working tirelessly in relation to this matter.”
Police believe the man who was arrested was involved in at least one of the offences, with his role in other offences still being investigated.
“We’re still exploring all the different machinations of this investigation,” Detective Inspector Puffett said.
“We’re not ruling out any motive at this stage but the puzzle is starting to come together at this stage.”
Police also confirmed that the owners of the businesses targeted are not believed to be involved in the incidents in any way.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.