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Suspect wanted in Richmond Hill vehicle arson allegedly set two more cars on fire

A suspect who allegedly set fire to an SUV in a Richmond Hill neighbourhood last June is now wanted for two more vehicle arson incidents in the same area.

On Thursday, York Regional Police released a video of a car fire that occurred earlier in the day, around 2:30 a.m., at a residence on Berwick Crescent.

In the video, a person holding what appears to be a canister walks toward a parked vehicle and pours liquid all over it.

The individual then bends over and appears to throw something under the car, engulfing it in flames. The person is seen running away from the scene.

A still from a surveillance video shows a suspect running away after setting a car on fire in Richmond Hill on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023. (YRP)

Crews later arrived and knocked down the fire. Police said no victims were injured in the incident, but they believe the suspect may have been wounded.

Thursday’s car fire is the third arson incident that occurred in the area.

The first happened at a home on Estorial Street near Berwick Crescent and 16th Avenue on June 10 at around 1:15 a.m. Three women were sleeping when one of them was awoken by noises from the outside.

When she went to check and opened the garage door, the family’s Subaru Crosstrek was on fire. Crews responded and extinguished the flames.

Weeks after the incident, on June 27, police released a surveillance video of the fire, showing a person pouring liquid over the SUV before setting it alight.

Police say a male suspect is wanted in an arson investigation in Richmond Hill.

The second incident occurred the day after the video was posted. On June 28, officers were called to a house on Berwick Crescent, a few streets away from Estoril Street, for another report of a vehicle fire.

“The residents noticed their vehicle was on fire in the driveway and were able to exit the home through the back door,” police said.

They added that a lone male suspect was seen near the vehicle at the time of the incident.

Police believe the same suspect is responsible for all three car fires, prompting them to issue a public warning Thursday.

The description of the suspect is limited. Police said he is a tall male with a medium build and was last seen wearing a hooded jacket.

They noted that he may have burn injuries to his hands or face.

Police are asking anyone with information that could help investigators identify and locate the suspect to contact them at 1-866-287-5025 ext. 7241 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS or Top Stories

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