RCMP and government vehicles torched in ‘targeted attack’ in Smithers, B.C., police say
Four RCMP buses and several government vehicles, including an ambulance, were set on fire in a hotel parking lot in Smithers, British Columbia, early Wednesday in what police describe as a « targeted attack on vehicles of emergency service ».
RCMP Corporal. Madonna Saunderson said eight vehicles were damaged or destroyed by a fire outside the Sunshine Inn in the central British Columbia city, about 300 kilometers west of Prince George.
Photographs from the scene show a charred patrol car and pickup truck with RCMP markings.
One of those vehicles bears the inscription “C-IRG,” designating a task force that deals with “energy industry incidents,” according to an RCMP website.
The cruisers appeared to have their fuel tanks open.
A BC Hydro truck was also set on fire and the side of an ambulance was charred.
Saunderson said RCMP and firefighters responded to a report of multiple vehicle fires around 4:30 a.m. PT.
She said police were reviewing CCTV footage of surrounding businesses.
RCMP officers sent to patrol the Smithers area often stay at the Sunshine Inn.
Carl Chad, who has an auto shop near the hotel, told CBC News his security alarm went off at 4 a.m. and he saw « someone walking into our lot » on his security footage.
When he arrived at work at Four Lakes Automotive around 7:45 a.m. PT, he said the vehicle fires had been put out.
Chad said he was worried and angry.
« If people are willing to set fire to RCMP vehicles directly [outside] where they sleep, then we wonder how safe we are,” he said.