JOYCE Grant was horrified when she walked out the front door of her partner’s unit early Sunday morning to find the windows of her little red Ford Festiva charred on the inside.
She has owned the little hatchback, which she nicknamed ‘Cinder’, since it was new.
“Next year would have marked 20 years since I bought her,” the Wonthaggi pensioner explained between sobs.
“I can’t believe anyone would do this.”
Joyce’s vehicle was one of five damaged overnight in the early hours of Sunday morning.
All were parked close to units at the west of Murray Street, where the street lighting is dim at the best of times.
The handle on the driver’s side of Joyce’s Festiva was ripped off and the offenders lit a front seat on fire.
The interior of the Festiva is now nothing but black dust and melted plastic.
Bass Coast CIU detective Adrian Condron said the locks, door handles and ignitions on two of the five cars targeted by vandals had been damaged in an attempt to start the vehicles.
Another vehicle, a white Mazda van with registration OAL 980, was also stolen.
Joyce has been left devastated by the loss of her vehicle – a necessity she will have difficulty replacing.
“It was insured but I’m only going to get about $1900,” she said.
“I won’t be able to get much for that.
“This car was so reliable – the only thing I ever changed on it was the tyres.”
And she had a stern message for the culprits responsible for the criminal damage.
“Why would you destroy something like this?
“Fair enough if you wanted to get petrol out of it or you wanted to steal it, but why burn it?
“It was totally unnecessary.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Wonthaggi Police Station on 5671 4100 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.