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Person of interest sought after suspicious fires in Nanaimo’s Harewood area

Fires took place April 3 and 9 in Nanaimo
Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can identify a person of interest following three suspicious fires set this month in the neighbourhood around John Barsby Secondary School. (Submitted photo)

RCMP are asking for the public’s help to try to identify a suspect who may be connected with three suspicious fires in Harewood.

The fires took place in the area of Seventh Street, said a Nanaimo RCMP press release, with two fires taking place the morning of April 3 at John Barsby Secondary School and the third the night of April 9 in the 700 block of Stirling Ave.

A garden shed on the school grounds was destroyed in the first incident, at 7 a.m. April 3, said police, with the second at 10 a.m. that same day under a pedestrian bridge at the west side of the school, close to the shed. In the Stirling Avenue incident, someone took a canvas car seat and candle from one home, placed in the back porch at another home, then lit it on fire.

In the case of the fires at the high school, the suspect descriptions provided to investigators were similar.

Police seek a person of interest described as a man with a slim build and long brown hair, wearing a blue ski jacket and track pants with white stripe down the side. The man had a white scooter.

“All three of these fires are troubling because it appears that they were all intentionally set and occurred within a short distance of each other,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, in the press release. “Home owners need to be vigilant and report any suspicious fires or persons to the police.”

Anyone with information on the fires or the person in the photo is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-734-2345.

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