“Unfortunately, there is nothing exceptional about that,” he said. “For the past five years, we have had on average one car a day that is set on fire. We suspect a lot of them have to do with insurance fraud.”
On Monday, when the fires began in Vastra Frolunda, Krista Koppel, 74, was in her apartment nearby. She said that she had heard the sound of firecrackers and people shouting outside and had gone to her balcony on the eighth floor, where she has a view of the parking lot.
“I saw about six to eight male persons totally covered in black,” she said. “They were smashing the rear windows in the cars. Then they had some Molotov cocktails and they threw them into the cars — about 20 cars in total.” She added that her car had also been damaged. When they ran out of Molotov cocktails, the perpetrators went away, she said.
Ms. Koppel, who has been living in her neighborhood for 40 years, said she had always felt safe — until Monday.
“I was very upset, and I cried, and I thought why was this happening? It was so terrible,” she said. “Of course, nobody dared to go outside and stop them. There were so many of them, and you don’t know if they have guns.”
In Hjallbo, in northeast Goteborg, a group of eight to 10 boys and young men set fire to some 15 cars at six addresses, Thomas Fuxborg, the police spokesman, said.
“Then car fires broke out in the Kronogarden district of Trollhattan, north of Goteborg, where about 40 youths threw stones at police officers and rescue workers and blocked the entrance to the area with burning car tires,” he said.