The “trail of destruction” started in the early hours of this morning in Stoke Gifford, South Gloucestershire, six miles from Bristol.
Police said they first received a call at around 1.30am reporting a car was on fire, with more reports coming in over the next few hours.
A report came in at about 3.45am saying there were more vehicles on fire at a car park at Rolls Royce in Filton, with around 20 cars damaged as the fire spread.
By 5.30am there were further reports, with up to 20 vehicles set alight in locations across Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Gifford.
Residents are likely to have been awoken to the sound of vehicles’ fuel tanks exploding, police said.
Cops reported that, so far, there have been no reports of any injuries or damage to buildings.
Some of the vehicles are so badly damaged cops are still struggling to work out who owns them.
Tom Aditya, the mayor of Bradley Stoke and town council spokesman, said the “appalling and shameful” attacks were “unheard” of in the town.
In an interview with the BBC, he called for police to “deploy a special dedicated team to identify the culprit”.
He said two of the vehicles that had been damaged belonged to the council and it was waiting on technicians to evaluate the extent of the damage.
Avon and Somerset Police said in a statement: “We’re working closely with the fire and rescue service to respond to these incidents.
“Officers will be carrying out house-to-house enquiries and making a thorough investigation alongside Avon Fire & Rescue Service.
“At this early stage the damage is making it difficult to identify vehicles in order to notify the owners.
“We’d like to hear from anyone who finds their own vehicle has been damaged, as well as anyone with information or dashcam footage, CCTV or other which could help our enquiries.”
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