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North Van RCMP seek witnesses to suspected camper arson

Police don’t know yet who set the fire or if the camper was deliberately targeted

The North Vancouver RCMP are renewing their plea to the public to help find two witnesses as they investigate a suspicious fire that appeared to target an occupied truck camper where someone was living.

Police also released CCTV footage of the two people believed to be those witnesses, in the hopes of tracking them down.

Fire and police were called to the scene near West 1st Street and MacKay Road about 9:40 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 20.

Const. Mansoor Sahak, spokesperson for the North Vancouver RCMP, said a person who was passing by noticed a fire burning under the camper that was parked on the south side of West 1st Street.

The occupant of the camper – who was sleeping inside at the time – was alerted by firefighters and escaped safely.

Sahak said police don’t know if the camper was specifically targeted but added no other vehicles in the area were damaged.

Police said the person who called in the fire talked to two other witnesses at the scene, who said they had observed a person riding by on a bicycle who tossed something under the camper shortly before the fire started.

Police are hoping to talk to those two witnesses, said Sahak, adding they may play a vital role in the investigation.

This week, police released CCTV video of the two witnesses to encourage them to come forward.

Sahak said the pair observed the crime and likely filmed the incident.

“We’re treating this very seriously and are exploring every avenue to help us further this investigation,” he said.

West 1st Street is a usually busy road and it’s likely there were other people in the area at the time the fire broke out, said Sahak.

Police are asking the two witnesses, or anyone who has information about this incident, to call 604-985-1311 and quote file 23-24844. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

The block bordered by West 1st Street, West 3rd Street, Hanes Avenue and MacKay Road is an area where many people who are sleeping in campers or motorhomes park overnight – some for just a short stay, and some for more lengthy periods.

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