Although the police have boosted their undercover patrols and used a helicopter in recent days, nine vehicles were set on fire in the early morning hours of Thursday. Cars in the districts of Charlottenburg, Tiergarten and Neu-Hohenschönhausen were targeted. No one was injured.
In total, 35 automobiles have been destroyed over the past three nights in the German capital, which has had a problem with car arson linked to leftist extremists for years.
The latest series of attacks started shortly after massive rioting and arson in London and other British cities.
And Berlin’s problem on Wednesday night appeared to have spread to the surrounding state of Brandenburg, where two vehicles were set on fire in the county of Teltow-Fläming. Police said a car and a van had been parked two kilometres apart.
Rainer Wendt, the head of DPolG police union, said an example had to be made of the culprits.
“We need hard sentencing acting as a deterrent,” he told Thursday’s Bild newspaper.
Dieter Wiefelspütz, the interior policy expert for the centre-left Social Democrats, told the paper the arson was “a prelude to terrorism.”
Authorities have offered a €5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of car arsonists.