MIJAS residents expressed their disbelief when a man accused of setting fire to cars and buildings was arrested and released – for the fourth time.
Mayor Juan Carlos Maldonado has had to reassure concerned citizens in La Cala and Calahonda that the authorities will protect them from the arsonist. The council have also submitted an official letter to the prosecutor’s office in Fuengirola, demanding a more forceful response.
The 42-year-old Lithuanian suspect is now in custody having been arrested five times in a matter of weeks. He was caught trying to set a shop on fire in the El Zoco area just hours after being released. Locals are demanding to know why the clearly unstable individual was freed in the midst of his terror campaign against the community.
People reported being afraid to park their cars on public roads and being fearful that their own homes may be targeted. As well as setting shops on fire the man is accused of burning several cars. Police believe he cracked open wheel spokes with a tool and buried newspapers doused in petrol inside the tires before setting them alight.
One of the victims was long-time Costa del Sol resident Anne Bowles, whose Ford Fiesta was torched.
It had been parked in the residents’ spaces near Olivias Restaurant in La Cala de Mijas, and Anne was unaware of the incident until her community gardener decided to check on the commotion outside and she followed.
“When I arrived to the police station I couldn’t think of a single word in Spanish because I was so shocked,” Anne, who is co-founder of the La Cala de Mijas Lions’ Diabetics Support Group, told the Euro Weekly News. “I can’t believe they let the man go, he is reputed to have spat in the face of the Irish bookshop owner’s wife.”