Kerrisdale Arsons

Many of you have heard about the arson attacks in Shaughnessy and Kerrisdale the past two days. Here is a link to this morning’s story about them in the Vancouver Sun.

Over the years, we have dealt with several arsonists working in the Kerrisdale, Kitsilano and Arbutus Ridge neighbourhoods.

About three years ago, Kerrisdale Business Association merchants were regularly having the contents of their dumpsters set on fire. Similarly, an arsonist targeted a condominium/town house property where vehicles, garbage bins and children’s playparks were targeted. A particular problem with the condo development was that multiple fires were often set on the same night… some which the Fire Department felt were set while they were already on site dealing with the first call. In Kitsilano, someone was making their way into many office buildings along West Broadway and lighting fires in the washrooms as well as at office doorways.

In each case, we were hired to increase the level of surveillance and security by providing both uniformed and plain clothed security guards. On several occasions, both Vancouver Police and Fire Department Arson investigators have spoken with our staff and advised us on what to look for, especially at the scene of a fire.

Typically, arsonists like to watch the fire that they have started… sometimes going out of their way to help ‘put it out’ or assist in some way once the Fire Department is on scene.

For the most part, arson is a crime of opportunity and convenience. In the three incidents noted above, the suspects all ended up living very close by.

To help reduce the risk for you and your neighbours, try to take your garbage and recycling out in the morning rather than leaving it out all night. Similarly, take a look at your property and remove anything else that might tempt an arsonist. Motion activated lights are a good deterrent and should be mounted as high as possible on your garage (You will need to call your electrician to install motion lights). Most importantly, pay special attention to any late night activity in your alley. All of the recent arsons have occured between midnight and 4:00am.

All of our patrol teams have been briefed about what has happened and will be paying special attention to this issue. As always, should you see someone suspicious in your back alley, or anywhere, please call us at 604.664.1087 and we will send someone around to check it out. Of course, if you witness someone actually starting a fire, or committing any other crime, call 911.

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