A SHEFFIELD businessman is counting the cost of arson attacks on his car lot - after seven vehicles have gone up in flames in the space of five weeks.
Jason Mallows, aged 42, had three cars and two vans damaged in the latest blaze on Fife Street, Wincobank, on Thursday night.
It comes after another two vans were set alight on Tuesday, January 3.
Mr Mallows, from Grenoside, who also runs JST Used Motor Spares, Effingham Road, Attercliffe, only bought the car lot a few days before the first attack.
He used to lease the area of land from where he trades, but now owns it.
The fed-up businessman is now offering a £1,000 reward for information.
Mr Mallows said: “I doubt that whoever actually started the fires is behind them - it’s probably a drug addict offered £100 to do the job.
“It’s the person behind the attacks that I am interested in.
“They have cost me £14,000 so far because of the extent of damage caused to the vehicles - its not the sort of money people can afford to lose, especially these days.
“I know that if someone has been paid to start these fires, chances are they will have told somebody else, so if anyone has that information they need to come forward.
“I am hoping the £1,000 reward will tempt people to pass on what they know.
“All I want is to find out why I am being targeted like this, who is behind the fires, because it is too much of a coincidence for them not to be the work of the same person.”
Firefighters spent an hour extinguishing the flames at the car lot last Thursday, after passers-by spotted the five vehicles alight.
A Ford Mondeo, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Polo, Nissan Interstar and Vauxhall Vivaro were involved.
Anyone with information about the fires is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101, or, alternatively, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.