Is there a more mindless, pointless crime than vandalism?
Whether it is graffiti tagging or smashing the windows on a vacant house, it’s thoughtless destruction that benefits no one.
But the spate of car fires plaguing the city has taken thoughtless crime to a new level.
Barely a week has passed since 2018 began that we haven’t had at least one car stolen and set alight, and often it’s more.
Next to a mortgage, buying a car is often the biggest financial commitment people make, so it is little wonder that people tend to be quite protective of their cars, even more so if it doubles as a work vehicle.
To wake up and find that your vehicle is gone would be heartbreaking – and frightening – but the trend of stealing a car and then setting it on fire is just adding insult to injury.
Not only is the vehicle now useless, but other property and people, including the offenders themselves, are put at risk when a car is set on fire.
And to what end? A few cheap thrills from managing to steal the car and a bit of a laugh when it goes up in flames?
Looking back at The Daily Advertiser's coverage of the continuing scourge of car fires, there has been more than one occasion when these fires posed a real risk to surrounding property.
Trees, grass and nearby fences and buildings are all vulnerable, and that’s without the risks that come from tyres, fuel, airbag canisters and anything else that is likely to go up with a bang when it’s heated.
Earlier this month, a burning car on River Road set fire to nearby hay and it took firefighters six hours to control the resulting blaze.
In the middle of a drought, the destruction of that hay was probably felt even more keenly than usual and just serves to reinforce how stupid the whole scenario is.
While police investigate the incidents and try to track down the offenders, car owners are being reminded of the importance of locking up their property and making their homes secure.
It shouldn’t come to that, but in an imperfect world, it is good advice.