Monday, September 8, 2014

Cops probing suspicious vehicle fires in downtown Toronto

TORONTO - Police are investigating a series of suspicious downtown vehicle fires that occurred within hours of each other towards the end of the weekend.

Five vehicles were set ablaze in three separate incidents in The Esplanade-Church St. area, according to Toronto Police.

An older model Chrysler was discovered on fire around 11 p.m. Sunday on The Esplanade.

“It was a stolen vehicle,” Const. Jennifer Sidhu said. “Apparently this vehicle was stolen and driven to this location prior to being set on fire.”

She added witnesses reported seeing someone fleeing from the vehicle right before the fire.

A second vehicle was found ablaze between George and Frederick Sts. just before 11 p.m.

“Police were called regarding a U-Haul (truck) which was engulfed in flames,” Sidhu said.

Three other vehicles were set ablaze inside a multi-level Green P parking lot near Church St. and The Esplanade just after 2 a.m. Monday.

A police statement noted that a green Chrysler van and a red vehicle were reported fleeing the scene,

“The area is being canvassed for video,” Sidhu said.

Cops are probing these three incidents and called them “suspicious.”

Another incident occurred 3 a.m. Monday when two vehicles were “heavily damaged” in a fire at the rear of Hazelton Ave., Sidhu said.

“The fire was put out and no one was located in the vehicles or garages,” she said.

Police can’t confirm all the incidents are linked but are investigating the possibility.

“They’re all within close proximity and they’re all arson to vehicles, all in a short period of time,” Sidhu said.

Andre de Treville, who lives above the Green P parking lot near Church and The Esplanade, whipped out his camera and started filming from his balcony when he heard a commotion outside and realized a car was on fire.

A “small explosion” occurred shortly after cops arrived on scene, he said.

“Nothing Hollywood style,” de Treville said.

No one was injured. Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 416-808-5100.
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