Search for Rutland arsonist intensifies

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Mounties are hoping to jog memories and loosen tongues about a series of Rutland arsons they fear will continue and ultimately heighten in severity.

“The investigation hasn’t uncovered a suspect, so we are requesting help from the public,” said Const. Steve Holmes, on Wednesday.

“Today we are taking the effort to display a number of information wanted posters.”

The posters, which can be found all through Rutland, map out the locations of the seven fires sparked this winter—five on Oct. 22, another on Nov. 5 and one more Jan. 4—and highlight the arsonist’s pattern.

“The Modus Operandi, if you will, is that there are accelerants used in all cases, the targets are in close proximity and in most cases it’s been an outbuilding or items that have been set on fire,” said Holmes.

“Only in one case has there been a house fire.”

While the firebug has yet to injure anyone, Holmes said the concern with situations of this kind is that fires could increase in severity and rate.

“It could escalate, and then tragedy is a matter of when, not if,” he said.

Holmes said until people come forward with anything they’ve seen, they can’t begin to speculate about who’s doing the crime.

It could be kids or adults, of either gender. It could be someone working alone, he noted.

“The lens is wide open right now,” he said.

Police are asking the public for any information with respect to the fires. Call the Kelowna Detachment at 250-762-3300, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or visit the Crime Stoppers website to report.

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