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Arson gang’s campaign of terror at family home
A HAMPSHIRE family is being terrorised by a mystery gang who set fire to their home while six children were sleeping inside.
Nasser Amiri and his family woke to find their front door on fire – just hours after thieves trashed their Southampton home, stealing £400 in cash and jewellery.
It followed days of harassment by men trying to force their way into their home and the flat of the woman living below them in Parsonage Road.
They have been banging on their front and back doors, pretending to be policemen and demanding to be let in.
The family have no idea why they have been targeted by these men, who first appeared on their doorstep two months ago, claiming to be policemen.
On Friday a man forced his way into their neighbour’s house.
Screaming for help, Marina Amiri ran to her rescue and the man fled, stealing one of the bikes from the garden.
Twenty-four hours later a different man knocked on the door demanding to be let in, but again the family refused.
On Sunday, when the family returned at 9.30pm, they found their front door open, all the rooms trashed and cash and jewellery stolen.
Then, at around 8am yesterday, Mrs Amiri was getting her children’s school uniforms ready when she spotted smoke coming up the stairs from the front door.
The smoke alarm went off, waking the rest of the family and giving her husband the chance to put the flames out and get his family out safely.
Mr Amiri’s 14-year-old daughter Shabnan said they are now terrified in their own home, scared of what the gang will do next and leaving the younger children, aged five, four and two, too afraid to be in a room alone.
She said: “We don’t want to stay here because we are so frightened that they are going to come back.
“They have come back every day since Friday, so why would they stop now? We are terrified of what they might do next.
“I am scared and my little brother won’t even go in another room on his own because he is so terrified.
“We have no idea why they are targeting our homes. We get on really well with all our neighbours so we just can’t understand why this is happening to us. We just want it to stop.”
Police and fire investigators spent yesterday at the home gathering evidence and believe the fire was started by a liquid posted through the letter box.
Anyone with information about the arson or the men seen at the Amiri home should contact Shirley CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.