Appeal for witnesses after man lit fire underneath parked van

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POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a man was seen igniting a fire underneath a van.

Police received a report of a man lighting a fire under the engine bay of a Vauxhall Vivaro van which was parked at the rear of Pinero Grove, in the Rift House area of Hartlepool, at about 9.35pm on Saturday, December 28.

Officers say the male was disturbed and ran away in the direction behind Shaw Grove, in the area.

The man is described as a white male, of broad and stocky build, with close shaven hair and wearing dark clothing.

He is said to be aged between 40 and 45 years of age.

Anyone with any information about this incident, or anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area around the time is asked to contact Pc Alexander Blackwell on the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively telephone Crimestoppers on (0800) 555 111.