A Mandurah man has been charged with more than 25 offences after multiple businesses were set on fire and damaged in Esperance overnight.
Local police alleged the man from South Yunderup, east of Mandurah, started targeting property of his family members before moving onto businesses about 4:10am on Wednesday.
It’s alleged, the man started targeted his family members, by smashing windows of their vehicles in Nulsen, the suburb before the Esperance townsite, before he went to nearby bushland and torched his own car.
Local firefighters quickly extinguished the fire before it got out of control.
Police alleged the man then slashed multiple car tyres including a vehicle and trailer at the Bay of Isles Leisure Centre , a further three cars at a nearby address and 13 vehicles at the Esperance Aged Care Facility and hospital.
He then proceeded to allegedly light a small fire behind the nurses’ residents at the aged care facility before heading on a fire lighting spree.
Local Police said a bookshelf and other materials were placed over the air conditioner of the Museum Village before they were allegedly doused in accelerant and set alight.
“The air conditioner was destroyed and damage [was] caused to the exterior of the building,” local police said.
“A further fire was allegedly lit in the grass area behind the amphitheatre before its alleged he attended the camping and workwear store on Dempster Street and smashed a side window.
“He continued to the public library where a pile of books were placed at the front door and set on fire.
“Again, this was fortunate the fire didn’t spread through the building engulfing it.”
The man then allegedly smashed the window of the Population Health building before he was arrested by Esperance Police and Detectives on Pink Lake Road at 8:10pm.
Esperance Police expressed empathy for the local community.
“For the people of Esperance and all those who are doing it extremely tough at the moment, we are deeply saddened by the further pain and suffering this has caused many of you,” Esperance police said.
“What we would like to do, however, is acknowledge the efforts of our fellow emergency service workers who were quick to respond.”
Investigators spent the day forensically examining the scenes and gathering information.
The South Yunderup man has been charged with 27 offences including:
23 x Criminal Damage
2 x Criminal Damage by Fire
1 x Duty of Person in control of ignition source or fire
1 x Offences of lighting or attempting to light fire likely to injure (Bushfires Act)
The 26-year-old has been remanded in custody and is expected to appear in the Esperance Magistrates Court tomorrow.
Police urge anyone that was a “victim of last nights offending” and hasn’t reported it, to do so via Crime Stoppers on 1800 33300 and quote incident report number #080420060011874.