AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after an estimated £10,000-worth of damage was done to three vehicles in an early hours arson attack in Weymouth.

Firefighters and police were called to James Street, at Rodwell, at 12.05am yesterday after two motorbikes and a car were engulfed in flames.

The motorbikes, a black Triumph Street Triple and a black KSR Motorworks, valued at a combined £7,000 were completely destroyed in the blaze with severe damage caused to an Audi A4 that was parked nearby.

Now, the owners of the motorbikes, Andrea Charters and her partner Keith Jones, have put up a £500 reward for information leading to the conviction of the culprits.

The couple had just returned from the pub and had been in their house for five minutes before they were alerted to the fire. The motorbikes were parked outside their home near the junction with Love Lane.

Ms Charters said: “We came home and stuck the kettle on, and within five minutes our neighbour was banging on the door to tell us the bikes were on fire.

“My bike, the KSR Motorworks, was only four months old and Keith’s bike, the Triumph, was the last present his late mother ever bought him. There is more than the monetary value, the bikes were of great sentimental value as well.

“The question everybody keeps asking is why somebody would want to do that and that’s the question we keep asking ourselves. We must have just missed whoever started it because we hadn’t been in long.

“I have decided to put up a £500 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever did this.

Mark Coombes, the owner of the Audi A4 that was parked next to the bikes and also suffered damage, said: “The damage that has been caused will run into thousands of pounds. I have got insurance, but it’s not the point. I have only had the car three months. It was my pride and joy.”

Mr Coombes said that he was worried that there might be similar attacks.

Mr Coombes added: “You just don’t need it in the middle of the night. I have worked hard to afford a decent car and now it’s been badly damaged.

“You do worry as well if it might happen again and if it escalates. People have got families, and this could have been much worse.”

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “It was reported to us by the fire service at 12.05am with location given as James Street near Love Lane.

“A motorcycle was on fire, as well as an Audi A4. Nobody was injured.

“It is being investigated as arson, and we are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to contact Dorset Police on 101 and quote the incident number 02/22nd.”