Security company owner 'disgusted' with arson in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Security company owner 'disgusted' with arson in Kamloops

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A Lapper Security guard is still on the job but without a car after it was burned down behind a North Shore Ask Wellness facility on Friday.

The guard is shaken up and disappointed someone would torch his new car, according to his boss, Ed Lapierre.

Owner Lapierre said surveillance video of the incident showed a person approach the vehicle, dump some kind of liquid onto it and light it on fire.

"I was disgusted because the person that did it is known to us," Lapierre said. "We hand out water, food and they ask for cigarettes sometimes. Everyone thinks we're out here pushing people around, but we hand out blankets in the winter and buy food for people during the day sometimes."

READ MORE: Security guard's car torched on Kamloops's North Shore

Kamloops Fire Rescue responded to the fire just after 11 p.m., June 25. RCMP also attended the scene, Lapierre said.

The guard had left his car to conduct foot patrols in the Tranquille area, as Lapper has been doing since the first week of May. Specifically, he was on his way to check on Jamaican Kitchen at the time of the fire.

According to Lapierre, when his employees are on-duty to do foot patrols they bring personal vehicles, rather than bringing a company vehicle.

Lapper vehicles are only used during the day along Tranquille Road.

There was no incident that day between the suspected arsonist and the guard who owned the car, according to Lapierre.

Meanwhile Kamloops RCMP are investigating the arson and the recent break-ins at Jamaican Kitchen.

In a statement, Sgt. Darren Michels of the Kamloops RCMP said the detachment is "very cognizant" of concerns in the community.

READ MORE: Kamloops restaurant owners feel targeted after 2nd break and enter in as many months

"During the course of this investigation we have been able to obtain video evidence and we are looking at identifying the suspect from the arson," Michels said in the emailed statement. "We have met already personally with various stakeholders in this file. I can assure you that property crime continues to be a priority for the Kamloops Detachment. We will continue to partner with these agencies in attempts to address the number of property crime incidents we have in the city."

While the RCMP continue investigating, Lapierre said his guards, who are stationed in areas around Kamloops regularly, assist police with less critical issues.

However, Lapierre also stressed that they are not a public service.

READ MORE: Former Kamloops security guard caught on video kicking man wants back on patrol

"We are paid by private clients to protect their property," he said. "We have to prevent the nesting because it's easier to do that then ask them to move once they've set up."

"Nesting," as he calls it, is when someone who is homeless picks their spot and sets up their camp for the night.

Guards will often experience threats, but Lapierre said his employees will walk away from those situations and report them to police.

"Most of these people don't have good days. So we try not to take it to heart too much, but something like this changes the tune a little bit," he said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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