Update 11.50am: ALSTONVILLE residents are furious after a local man's car was stolen and set on fire near Geoff Watt Oval early this morning.
Locals are calling for anyone who saw suspicious activity to come forward with information.
Simon Plumb posted on Facebook: "Last night some lovely people broke into my elderly neighbour's home, stole his phone, wallet and keys ... the car was found burnt out at Geoff Watt Oval this morning."
The post was shared to Ballina Information Exchange, where it is attracting plenty of any comments.
Jen Lou Dangerfield said: "Pretty scary when it's so close to home. If anyone knows anything please help find these nasty pieces of work who were in Alstonville last night."
Wendy Dooley wrote: "Lowlife pricks ... still don't know what they get out of it."
Vicki Jeffries Tymmons said: "Yep same happened to my parents' little car in Ballina a few months ago, uninsured and still trying to get over it. Would love to catch the little bastards myself and show them what pain people are going through."
Police said they were now investigating the matter.
Original story 4.30am: FIREFIGHTERS rushed to an Alstonville playground just before 4am this morning, after receiving reports of a car on fire at Deegan Dr.
The car was well alight by the time the crew arrived at the scene.
A mum and her son, who live just metres from the park, said they woke after hearing what sounded like gunshots.
The woman said her first thought was to protect her son, and she quickly dialled Triple-0 and went outside to inspect the scene.
She discovered that a car was on fire near the popular children's playground, and the vehicle was burning strongly by that point.
But then she thought that someone might have been inside the car, and started to panic.
"I looked around and I was the only person out on the street," she said.
"I thought someone was inside (the car) so I started walking towards it, but I don't know what I was going to be able to do.
"I was freaking out.
"Then it just started exploding, it sounded like gunshots, so I backed away."
Police arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.
No-one was inside the car, which was completely destroyed in the fire.