Since the beginning of July, one or more piromaniacs have been setting fire to cars and motorcycles parked on Romes street. The first fires were all in the area of the Via Prenestina, where six cars and four motorcycles were completely destroyed. Since then there have been fires on nine nights in 16 streets in areas all around the city. Vandals have destroyed a total of 81 cars and 107 motorcycles and at the same time have caused damage to nearby buildings. Early in August one of the cars, fuelled by liquid gas, exploded, setting fire to balconies up to the third floor of the nearest block of flats. No one was hurt in the blaze.
The mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, has called on the public to cooperate with police to catch the arsonists. Many Romans are particularly worried since vehicle-insurance policies in Italy rarely include a fire-damage clause.