Manchester

Arson attacks at Prestwich restaurants treated as 'hate crimes'

arson Image copyright Bury Police
Image caption Police believe the two arson attacks were anti-Semitic hate crimes

Arson attacks on two restaurants in Greater Manchester are being treated as anti-Semitic hate crimes, police said.

Ta'am, a Kosher restaurant, on Bury New Road, Prestwich was targeted by two men who threw a milk carton filled with petrol at the building shortly before midnight on Friday 2 June.

A second attack took place at J S Restaurant, which also serves the Jewish community, four days later.

Both restaurants were closed and no-one was injured.

The police believe the attacks are linked although the motive for the attacks is not clear.

Image copyright Bury Police
Image caption One man was seen walking to the restaurant with a carton filled with petrol

In the first attack, two offenders approached Ta'am and threw a makeshift container of petrol and a lit rag at the premises.

When it failed to ignite, one of the men threw a large stone at the front window, smashing it in the process.

At 03:30 BST on 6 June, two suspects approached J S Restaurant on Kings Road, also in Prestwich, and forced open a window before pouring accelerant inside and lighting it.

Firefighters were able to put the fire out before any serious damage could be done to the property.

Image copyright Bury Police
Image caption The two suspects were caught on CCTV preparing for the attack

Greater Manchester Police has now released images of two people they want to speak to.

Det Ch Insp Charlotte Cadden said: "From the images it isn't clear how old they are but we believe they are two males and I'm hoping that they jog someone's memory or that someone recognises the clothes they were wearing."

Detectives are also appealing for a woman to come forward who could be potential witness.

She has shoulder-length brown hair and carrying a bag or possibly a parcel under her right arm, was walking near to the Mountheath Industrial estate a few minutes before the first attack.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious is asked to contact the police.

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