Rick Medland and Cassandra Foster in front of the Turbo Diesel Toyota Hilux which was set on fire in front of Cassandra’s house.
Rick Medland and Cassandra Foster in front of the Turbo Diesel Toyota Hilux which was set on fire in front of Cassandra’s house. Marc Stapelberg

Car bombers strike region

THREE cars have been firebombed at Goonellabah in a series of random attacks that have stunned residents.

Rick Medlands, 23, was left devastated after his prized four-wheel-drive was set alight at his former partner's property in Phillips St about 3.30am on Friday.

"I was gutted. I was just in such shock I didn't even cry," he said.

The 2004 Toyota Hilux cost $26,000 and Mr Medlands still owed $23,000 in repayments.

He relied on the car get to work at Booyong and had spent $7000 adding extra capabilities to the car since he bought it 12 months ago.

"Why would you do that to someone else's car?," he asked.

"I guess they're going out looking for some fun, if that's what they call fun. They're just cowards."

A few minutes earlier two other cars were set alight a few hundred metres away at a Regency Cres property.

In what may be an unrelated incident, police also attended a car fire on the Coast Rd at Lennox Head at 3.56am on Friday.

Richmond Local Area Command Inspector Mick Dempsey said the fires in Goonellabah are still being investigated.

"We're not sure how the fires started at this stage," he said. "They just seem to be random attacks. They possibly are connected because they were ... in the same time-frame and same suburb."

Mr Medlands former partner, Cassandra Foster, 21, is due to give birth in seven weeks.

She said it was lucky the car didn't explode and set fire to her house.

"I ran upstairs and saw car was alight and I started crying. I called Rick and said, 'Your car is on fire' but we couldn't go out because I'm pregnant and it's a turbo diesel car and there were bangs and things flying everywhere," she said.

Mr Medlands also used the car to visit his three-year-old daughter.

"He'd promised to take our little daughter out four-wheel driving this weekend and when she saw it she said, 'Someone hurt daddy's truck'," Ms Foster said.

Ms Foster said she was shocked to hear other cars in Goonellabah had been set alight.

"At first we thought someone was targeting us but we have no enemies," she said. "When the police said it was done to other cars it was a relief that we weren't targeting us. But it's a really sick act and I just hope the police find the people that did it."



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