Justice Institute arsonist strikes West Vancouver
An arsonist struck a home in West Vancouver Friday morning and the RCMP say it's linked to a spate of fires and shootings targeting associates of the Justice Institute of British Columbia.
The string of attacks first became public in early September when the Mounties announced that several fires and shootings in Metro Vancouver were targeting the homes and vehicles of current and former staff and students of the Justice Institute, a province-wide school that trains police, paramedics and firefighters.
In December, the Mounties issued an update on the investigation saying that 13 people linked to the Justice Institute had been victimized. Their investigation revealed a link to an ICBC employee who allegedly accessed the personal information of 65 people, including the 13 victims.
"That number now stands at 14 victims with the addition of this new incident," RCMP 'E' Division spokesperson Sgt. Peter Thiessen said in a release Friday.
At approximately 2:40 a.m. Friday, West Vancouver police and fire services were called to a blaze at a home in the 1000 block of Lawson Avenue.
The fire was extinguished and the damage was contained to the front of the home at 1070 Lawson Ave. which is listed for sale.
Police at the scene quickly determined the fire had been intentionally set and the RCMP were called in to assist in the investigation.
The Mounties have since taken the lead on the case because of the fire's apparent link to the Justice Institute attacks.
"The individuals or a individual within this home is one of the list of 65 who had their personal information compromised by the now previous ICBC employee," Thiessen told The Outlook.
“This investigation remains a top priority for us, and police continue to gather considerable evidence."