British Columbia

Richmond RCMP ask for help to find serial arsonist

Richmond RCMP is looking for a serial arsonist after recording 15 similar fires since January 2020.

15 small fires have occurred overnight in Richmond since January

Richmond RCMP released this sketch on May 21 of a possible suspect seen in the area of one of the fires set this year. The suspect is described as Caucasian, with blond hair and fair skin, between 17 and 19-years-old, and approximately 5'6" or 1.68 metres tall and weighing 160 pounds or 73 kilograms. (Richmond RCMP)

Richmond RCMP is looking for a serial arsonist after recording 15 similar fires since January 2020

The latest incident happened on Friday morning around 4:30 a.m. PT on the edge of Blundell Park near an elementary school. 

Police say a bush was set on fire, before a passerby noticed the flames and was able to put the fire out. 

"Evidence at the scene, together with the nature of the blaze, suggest this fire was intentionally set," said Richmond RCMP in a statement.

Pattern

RCMP said the fires appear to have been set by a serial arsonist because of similarities between all of them.

All the fires have been in hedges, garbage bins or construction site portable toilets within a specific area of Richmond between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The fires have all been quickly extinguished.

In April, Richmond RCMP say it created a task force and increased targeted patrols to find who is responsible. No arrests have been made.

On May 21 police released a sketch of a possible suspect seen in the area of one of the fires set this year.

He is described as Caucasian, with blond hair and fair skin, between 17 and 19-years-old, and approximately 5'6" or 1.68 metres tall and weighing 160 pounds or 73 kilograms.

Help please

Police are asking residents south of Granville Avenue and north of Williams Road to be vigilant and to check home surveillance video for anything suspicious overnight.

"At this point, no one has been injured and property damages have been small. But Richmond RCMP is asking for information from anyone who can assist in identifying the person, or persons, responsible," said Insp. Michael Cohee.

"Once we have a suspect, we can take steps to prevent any further arsons like these." 

Tips can be submitted by phone to 604-204-4627 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), as well as emailed to Richmond_Tips@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

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