UPDATED WITH VIDEO: A car that is said to have been used to ‘store drugs’ has been set alight on a residential street in Gunville, Newport tonight (Tuesday), prompting a response from the National Police Air Service helicopter.
At shortly before 22:45 the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service responded to reports of a car well alight on Broadwood Lane off Gunville Road.
According to local residents, the silver BMW X5 – which is taxed and MOT’ed – was ‘set alight by 3 males’ after they smashed their way into the vehicle to steal a ‘stash of drugs’ hidden in the boot. Island Echo understands that the 4×4 has been parked on the road for several days.
According to locals, a black car has been seen to rush away from the scene resulting in an aerial search by the NPAS helicopter from Bournemouth, alongside units on the ground.
2 fire crews from Newport have contained the blaze to the front of the vehicle and have extinguished the fire. Recovery of the vehicle has been arranged.
UPDATE @ 00:20 – The aerial search has now concluded, however it is currently unclear if any suspects have been detained either in a vehicle or on foot.
The silver BMW has been recovered from the scene.
The carriageway where the vehicle was parked has partially melted due to the intense heat of the blaze.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY @ 15:45 – Hampshire Constabulary have confirmed they are treating the fire as arson and that investigations are ongoing.
It is thought that the suspects evaded captured.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Newport CID on 101, quoting 44160356122. Information can be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.