Richmond Mounties looking for possible 'serial arsonist' after 15 fires lit this year
The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
VANCOUVER -- After more than a dozen small fires have been lit in Richmond, local Mounties say they're looking for a possible "serial arsonist."
Police say they were called to a bush fire at Blundell Neighbourhood Park at about 4:30 a.m. Friday.
Someone walking in the area – which is close to an elementary school – noticed the fire and put it out before emergency crews got to the scene.
Police say evidence gathered from the fire suggested it was intentionally set and that it appeared to be similar to 15 other fires that have been set in the city since the start of the year.
Now, Mounties say they're looking for a possible serial arsonist.
According to police, the fires were lit in hedges, garbage bins and in portable toilets in construction sites. Usually they've been set between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
"At this point, no one has been injured and property damages have been small," said Insp. Michael Cohee, in a news release.
"But Richmond RCMP is asking for information from anyone who can assist in identifying the person, or persons, responsible. Once we have a suspect, we can take steps to prevent any further arsons like these."
Mounties say they increased patrols and created a task force in April to find the person or people responsible. But the efforts have been unsuccessful so far.
Police say all the fires have been happening "within a specific area in Richmond," and anyone who lives south of Granville Avenue and north of Williams Road should be "extra vigilant."
"They are encouraged to check their home video surveillance regularly, to ensure it is working properly, and to report any suspicious activity captured overnight," Richmond RCMP's news release said.