By Chris Slater – ManchesterEveningNews.co.uk
A minibus was torched outside building on Regent Street in the early hours
Arsonists torched a minibus outside as Islamic Centre hours after ripping out CCTV cameras to avoid detection.
Police were called to the site, on Regent Street, Newton Heath, shortly before 11:30pm yesterday after reports two men were trying to steal CCTV cameras. Officers attended and found two cameras had been ripped from front of the building. There was no one at the centre at the time and officers intended to visit the premises to today to discuss the theft.
But just two hours later, at around 1.20am, police were called back to the centre, along with the fire brigade, after a minibus belonging to the centre was torched. The vehicle was completely gutted by the blaze.
Detectives now believe the incidents are linked with the culprits thought to have stole the cameras in a bid to avoid detection. Two men, dressed in black clothing, were seen running from the scene. However, there were also cameras at the rear of the building which it is hoped will have caught the offenders in the act. Police say they are investigating whether the attack was a targeted hate crime.