Police in Berlin have finally arrested a man who was responsible for the burning of more than 100 cars in Germany over the last four months.

Officials say the 27-year-old man claimed that being out of work and in debt caused him to set fire to 67 vehicles, which then burned an additional 34 cars, starting in June.

“He wasn’t motivated by politics but rather social envy,” said Oliver Stepien, a senior police official. “He said in essence: ‘I’ve got debts, my life stinks and others with fancy cars are better off and they deserve this’.”

The attacks were aimed mostly at luxury vehicles such as Mercedes, Audis and BMWs, and left police with few leads and looking incompetent in the midst of an election. Berlin police finally had to enlist the help of federal authorities and were aided by high-tech equipment and helicopters with thermal imaging cameras.

More than 470 cars have been set on fire in Berlin this year, and authorities say it is likely at least a third are politically motivated. Police are still searching for suspects in the remaining burnings.


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