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Mystery continues for Vernon's rash of arson cases, despite recent arrest

September 18, 2015 - 6:30 PM

VERNON - A series of suspicious fires in Vernon is not being pinned on a man recently charged with setting a fire outside a local pet store.

Police arrested Ryan Patrick Warnock, 33, of Vernon and charged him with deliberately setting a small fire behind AJ’s Pets & Things on Sept. 6. 

There was a rash of dozens of suspected arsons in the summer of 2014, and after a slowdown, activity seemed to pick back up over the last few months with dumpsters, utility trailers and display panels catching fire.

Those are fires that remain under investigation as Warnock heads to court, RCMP Const. Jocelyn Noseworthy says.

“There is no evidence at this point to say he’s associated with the other fires,” Noseworthy says.

The possibility isn’t being ruled out, however, and Noseworthy says investigators will be looking to see if evidence can be developed.

All other suspicious fires remain under active investigation, and Noseworthy says they are treated very seriously by the detachment, even when they’re over a year old.

“With this arrest, we’d like to assure the public we are actively investigating and doing our best to conclude all of them,” Noseworthy says.

Police continue to appeal to the public for information in the unsolved cases, and Noseworthy says some tips came in for a recent fire outside the Vernon Curling Club. Unfortunately, none were substantive, leaving investigators still digging for clues. 

Police are asking anyone who was in the area at the time of the fires, or who has any information about them, to contact the detachment at 250-545-7171 or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Warnock is due back in Vernon Provincial Court Oct. 8.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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