Investigation into suspicious tobacco shop fire continues – Mount Clear

Police have today released further images as part of their investigation into a suspicious fire at a tobacco store in Mount Clear earlier this year.

The images show three unknown men seen in the area in the lead up to the arson attack.

Investigators are yet to determine what involvement the men may have had in the fire but are keen to speak to them and are appealing for anyone who recognises them or the men themselves to come forward.

Last week police released CCTV and images of the arson attack and a man seen in the footage setting the store alight.

The fire occurred at a tobacco store at a shopping centre on Geelong Road shortly after 10.40pm on Saturday, 8 January.

Footage released shows a man breaking into the store by smashing the glass in the bottom panel of the door and climbing in.

He then walks through the store for several minutes with a jerrycan of fuel, dousing the interior of the shop with an accelerant.

The man crawls back out the smashed door and sets fire to the premises and also sets himself alight.

It’s believed he left the area in a dark coloured vehicle.

At the time of the incident the man was wearing a dark coloured hooded jumper and dark coloured pants, with a face covering that slipped off his face.

Emergency services were subsequently called and police and firefighters attended, with the fire causing damage to the tobacco shop as well as surrounding businesses.

Despite a significant investigation over the past nine months, police are yet to determine the motive for the arson and who is responsible.

The fire caused about $1M worth of damage to not only the tobacco store but five surrounding businesses.

Police are keen to speak to anyone who recognises the three men shown in the images released today, or the man shown in the CCTV of the fire being lit.

Investigators would also like to thank the public and media for their assistance following last week’s appeal.

Anyone who recognises the men or with further information about the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a report at Link.

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