SHOCKED neighbours found themselves thousands of pounds out of pocket after arsonists went on the rampage.
The vandals targeted streets in Grindon, torching and destroying at least five cars during the spree.
Fire crews were called out to separate blazes in Gleneagles Road, Gilbert Road and Greenwood Road between midnight and 3.30am yesterday.
Angry car owners today described how they woke to find their vehicles going up in flames.
Alani Hunt, 37, told how she woke up with a start to find her Rover car ablaze outside her home in Greenwood Road.
“It was about three or half three and I was woken up by a bang – I thought it was the baby in his cot,” she said.
“As I was lying there, I heard a crackling noise. I looked out of my window and my car was on fire.
“My neighbour had woken up before me and she’d already called the fire brigade. I just watched my car burn away.”
The Rover was Alani’s first car and she had only had it for a few months.
“It is just so unfair,” she said.
“I don’t know how people can be so rotten -– some people are just sick in the head.”
The attacks are the latest in a spree of car incidents in Sunderland during recent days.
Overnight on Monday vandals scratched the sides of five cars in Aston Square, Farringdon, causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage. It is believed keys or a screwdriver were used in the incidents.
Adrian Fairless was one resident who had his car vandalised.
His wife Beatrice, 68, said: “We were so annoyed when we saw it. Why would anyone do this?
“We’ve lived here for 40-odd years and nothing like this has ever happened before. We’ve never had any trouble with our cars and it’s a real shame.
“We’re hoping that the scratches aren’t too deep so we won’t have to take them to a garage to get fixed and pay out all this money.”
A 28-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the Grindon fires.
Now police are urging anyone who knows anything about the arson attacks to get in touch.
Anyone with any information should contact Northumbria Police on 03456 043 043 ext 69191 or alternatively Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.