Land Rover torched in shock Harpenden arson attack

PUBLISHED: 07:01 29 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:36 06 May 2010

John Stevens' burnt out Land Rover

John Stevens' burnt out Land Rover

A DEVASTATED picture framer watched as his Overland Land Rover went up in flames on Saturday night in an apparently motiveless arson attack. John Stevens, of Hatching Green, Harpenden, has travelled extensively overseas in the adapted vehicle which had it

A DEVASTATED picture framer watched as his Overland Land Rover went up in flames on Saturday night in an apparently motiveless arson attack.

John Stevens, of Hatching Green, Harpenden, has travelled extensively overseas in the adapted vehicle which had its own fridge-freezer inside and running water.

But shortly after 10pm he heard the vehicle alarm go off and when he looked out the window the Land Rover was in flames.

He said this week: "It was an absolute fireball and it also damaged three double glazed windows in my house."

John, who owns a picture framing business in Harpenden High Street, had parked the Land Rover around the corner from his house but in a dead end. He has absolutely no idea why anyone would single it out for an arson attack but police have confirmed from the broken glass and petrol on one of the seats that it was not caused by an electrical fault.

John has spent around £40,000 modifying the vehicle to make it effectively into a mobile home.

He said it was larger than a normal Land Rover Discovery with a huge bumper at the front, an aluminium roof rack and a picture of the world on its doors.

There was normally a tent at the top of the vehicle to allow John to use it for his twice yearly overseas camping trips but he had taken it off before the blaze.

John is offering a £500 reward for anyone who is arrested and convicted via information given through Crimestoppers, the anonymous police service.

Police are appealing to anyone with information about the fire to contact Pc James Pickering on the non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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