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53French continue New Year's arson tradition by torching 1,193 cars

Just because the French government stopped divulging the number of cars set on fire during New Year's Eve doesn't mean French youth have stopped enjoying the pastime. In 2009, the year before Nicolas Sarkozy took control of Elysées Palace, there were 1,147 cars burned on NYE. This year, the new government of François Hollande – a proponent of transparency in such matters – reports that there were 1,193 cars flambéed a few nights ago.

89PA couple accused of trying to blow up Ford Fusion with flaming tampons

Two Pennsylvanians recently found themselves in trouble with the law after vandalizing a 2006 Ford Fusion in a decidedly inventive manner. Patricia and Quentin Deshong, 25 and 22, respectively, are staring down the barrel of charges ranging from attempted arson to public drunkenness, criminal mischief and making terrorist threats. The Deshongs reportedly broke or cracked multiple windows in the vehicle, ripped various hoses from the engine bay and attempted to set the vehicle ablaze by sticking

31Police arrest man for rash of car burnings in Berlin

The BBC reports that a man has been arrested in connection with over 100 vehicle fires in Berlin. Police have indicated that an unemployed 27-year-old took to arson in response to his own debts and jealousy toward individuals with luxury cars. The suspect set fire to a total of 67 vehicles over a span of three months, with an additional 35 cars caught fire as a result. Berlin has suffered a surge in luxury vehicle fires, with over 470 cars torched in the city just this year. Audi, BMW and Merced

74Burning cars filling up Berlin streets

Berlin is facing a rash of vehicle arson this year with more than 320 vehicles set ablaze in 2011 so far. Authorities claim that at least 140 of those incidents have been politically motivated, with the arsonists leaving notes at the scene. Those crimes have targeted luxury makes like BMW and Mercedes-Benz as part of growing unrest among Germany's lower classes. The notes typically contain some sort of anti-gentrification message. As for the rest of the torchings, law enforcement says those crim

22REPORT: Tough times yield more insurance fraud cases

They're called owner "give-ups," and their rise is a sign of the tough economic times. Despondent over being financially strapped and unable to cover car payments, vehicle owners are ditching, sinking, or torching their vehicles and reporting the loss to collect insurance payoffs. According to authorities, most of the titleholders aren't seasoned criminals. In fact, many of the false claims are filed by first-time offenders -- people who normally wouldn't steal a piece of candy from a store. How

48REPORT: Struggling dealer died of heart-attack while torching his own cars

With each passing day bringing more tough news about the state of the car companies and the plight of the autoworker, it's sometimes easy to overlook the effect that all of this economic gulag is having on mom-and-pop dealerships across the country. Bringing that idea into stark focus is news that Gregory Graham, a Pennsylvania car dealer recently died of a heart attack while torching cars at his own ailing dealership.

33Yep, That'll Fix It: Berlin youths torching Porsches, BMWs over economy

French youth like to burn cars on New Year's - and they don't mind lighting a few the rest of the year, either. German youths apparently really get their "arson on" when the economy takes a dip, as it happens to be doing right now. According to Bloomberg, at least 29 luxury vehicles have gone up in flames in Berlin so far this year, instigated by "'youths across Europe who 'perceive their future as rather precarious'."

33Sacr� bleu! French torch 1000+ cars on New Year's

Throughout France on New Year's Eve, 1,147 cars met crispy deaths at the hands of arsonists. That's almost 300 cars more than the previous year.

14People turn to torching cars in bad economy

Vehicle owners behind in their payments and faced with mounting debts have begun taking matches to their cars and trucks in an effort to stop their payments and collect the insurance settlements. Unfortunately, in most cases the attempts backfire (pun intended). According to police, when delinquencies on auto loans rise, owner-involved arson jumps as well. Between 2004 and 2007, "potential owner give-ups" (most of which involve torched vehicles) nearly doubled nationally. Distinguishing between

16Top Gear burns! Props destroyed

var digg_url = 'http://digg.com/television/Top_Gear_burns_Props_destroyed'; Yesterday a fire destroyed a barn at Hill End Farm in High Street, Sandridge in which props were stored for our favorite auto show from the UK, Top Gear. The free standing structure stored grain on one side, but the other was rented out by the BBC to house various props and equipment for Top Gear. There has been no word on Top Gear's website as to what items were destroyed, but we're nervous now that the Stig's list o

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