SA Police say they are looking at whether a bikie war is erupting in Adelaide, as they investigate possible links between two arson attacks and multiple arrests over the alleged murder of Jason De Ieso.
Police said a Marleston gym in Adelaide’s inner-west was gutted by a suspicious fire overnight — the day after a food truck belonging to one of the murder-accused was also attacked.
Just before 1:20am on Friday, police and fire crews were called to Marker Avenue after reports that a gymnasium was on fire.
Crime Gangs Task Force detectives are investigating the circumstances of the fire.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, a food truck parked at a home in Mile End was also destroyed by fire.
The home had recently been raided by police investigating Mr De Ieso’s shooting.
Mr De Ieso, 33, was shot dead at his panel beating business on Langford Street at Pooraka in Adelaide’s northern suburbs on November 21, 2012.
Police have ‘significant powers’ to stop gangs
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said police were investigating whether there are any links between the two arson attacks and the arrests in the De Ieso case.
“We’re examining the arson attack on the gymnasium and we are continuing to investigate the food van arson attack as well,” he said.
“One of the aspects of our inquiries is in relation to any linkages into those two incidents.”
When asked by reporters if police were concerned of a “bikie war” erupting, Commissioner Stevens said it was something they were looking into.
“Clearly that’s one of the things we [will] have a look at,” he said.
“We have a very strong enforcement in relation to outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs) and the legislation in South Australia has given us significant powers to suppress their overt activities within the community.
“When we see incidents like this that may be linked to OMCGs we take that seriously and we have dedicated officers that are currently working on this.”
Commissioner has message for outlaw gangs
Seven people have been charged over the alleged murder.
Police previously said they believed Mr De Ieso was innocently caught up in a dispute between the Hells Angels and Finks bikie gangs.
“If it is related to the De Iseo investigation my message would be that they should look and reflect on the results we have achieved through a complex and protracted investigation into the De Iseo murder,” Commissioner Stevens said.
“And consider the fact that any actions they undertake now will be the subject of an intensive police investigation and we will get results.”