La Cala de Mijas residents seek reassurance after string of fires

The fifth vehicle to be set alight near Mijas Playa on Friday.
The fifth vehicle to be set alight near Mijas Playa on Friday. / I.G.
  • The alleged arsonist has been detained five times in connection with fires targeting locals' cars and property

For several days, residents in La Cala de Mijas have been living in fear after a string of arson attacks has targetted cars, commercial properties, rubbish containers and other property. The crimes have been blighting the area for almost a month, but intensified last week with a series of attacks on vehicles.

A Lithuanian man, 42, was arrested for the fourth time in connection with these crimes last Thursday, this time accused of setting fire to a car the previous night after having been seeing loitering suspiciously around the area on several occasions. However, he was released hours later and, that same night, another car was set alight by Mijas Playa Club.

The situation in La Cala was so tense that last Friday, mayor of Mijas, Juan Carlos Maldonado visited the area to reassure residents and inform them that surveillance had been stepped up and that an appeal for more support had been filed with the public prosecutor's office.

"We've sent the letter with the hope that they can act with greater force as we fear that these crimes will be repeated," said the mayor.

Following this, the suspect, who has been linked to all of the crimes due to their common characteristics, was arrested for the fifth time.

The attacks on the cars were all carried out by slicing open the tyres before inserting newspaper doused in alcohol which was then set alight.

However, on Saturday, the man was caught as he was allegedly about to set business premises on fire in the El Zoco area of Calahonda and is currently still being held in custody.