Saanich police have arrested a man allegedly responsible for a series of fires set at the Camosun College Lansdowne campus in Oak Bay and Lansdowne middle school on March 30.
Between 5 and 7 a.m. on Monday morning, several fires were set in the area. Fires on the Camosun campus took out vehicles parked next to the school’s maintenance building. Additional fires were reported at 3100-block of Service Street near Lansdowne middle school.
Despite the fires being set in Oak Bay, Saanich police and fire crews responded.
The fires on the Camosun campus were the most serious, said Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich Police Department. Three vehicles were affected and the damage was “extensive.”
Once the fires were put out, detectives collected evidence and canvased the neighbourhood for information, Anastasiades said. This led to the identification of a suspect – a 26-year-old man who’d just arrived in Victoria from Calgary the week before but was already known to police, he said.
Saanich police then shared the suspect’s details with neighbouring police departments in an effort to locate him. Just before noon on March 31, the Victoria Police Department spotted the suspect near Centennial Square and took him into custody and transported him to the Saanich Police Department to wait for a tele-bail hearing, Anastasiades explained.
“Detectives worked quickly to piece together the events before, during and after the fire to positively identify a suspect,” he said. “We really appreciate the quick actions of the Victoria police in locating and making the arrest, as well as the public for coming forward with information.”
Anyone who has further information about the incidents or captured video footage of a suspect wearing a red jacket between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. is asked to contact the Saanich Police Department at 250-475-4321.
–With files from Travis Paterson