Isère: vehicles set on fire in the parking lot of the Varces-Allières-et-Risset prison
Le Dauphiné, 9 September 2021 (extract)
Act of intimidation or reprisal? Four vehicles were destroyed or seriously damaged by an arson attack on the grounds of the Grenoble-Varces prison during the night of Wednesday 8 to Thursday 9 September.
It was about half past midnight when the sound of bursting tyres alerted the guard posted on one of the watchtowers overlooking the prison, who then saw the flames rising from the parking lot reserved for prison staff. This is a fenced parking lot, located at the back of the compound, after the visitors’ car park, which is accessed through a gate that opens with a keypad code.
The fire brigade was immediately alerted and quickly extinguished the fire, but two cars belonging to night guards, a vehicle belonging to the Alpes Isère hospital centre in Saint-Egrève and a prison administration van were more or less burnt out.
In 2020, vehicles were already targeted by Kalashnikov fire in this car park.
Also on the scene, the gendarmes of the Grenoble company then discovered that a hole of about one metre by one and a half metres had been cut, probably with bolt cutters, in the fence of this parking lot and overlooking the neighbouring sawmill.
In the hours following the extinction of the fire, the criminal identification technicians took note of any traces and clues. The investigation was entrusted to the gendarmes of the Grenoble research brigade, who will obviously try to establish whether the owners of the two cars had recently been victims of threats or suffered incidents in the exercise of their duties.
This is not the first time that intruders have entered the prison compound at night to attack staff cars: on the night of 6 to 7 July 2020, cars were shot at with Kalashnikov rifles. About twenty bullet casings, fired through the fence, were found. The investigation, entrusted to the gendarmes of the Grenoble research section, is still ongoing and at this stage there is no link between these two cases.