Two vehicles parked outside the Penticton Kia car dealership were set on fire in the early morning hours of Saturday, Feb. 25.
RCMP is investigating after a man was caught on camera stopping by a late model Ford Escape and GMC pickup truck, at around 2:50 a.m., shortly before both vehicles were damaged in the fire.
J.R. Levesque, Penticton Kia’s finance director, says security footage shows the individual trying to get into a nearby Salvation Army van before moving towards the soon-to-be-impacted vehicles.
Dealership staff was notified of the incident by police when they arrived at work Saturday morning.
“The crime in this community is so bad at this point that it’s affecting all the businesses around,” said Levesque. “When we came to work that morning, there was an RCMP officer out front and it was a shock when we heard.
“It’s just really frustrating.”
He says there was no damage to the Salvation Army truck, as a result of the incident.
Still, Levesque recalls a similar incident occurring at the neighbouring Honda dealership.
“This is the first time fire has been set to our vehicles, however, it did happen at the Honda next door,” he said.
Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck from the RCMP says the Penticton Kia incident is considered suspicious.
Penticton fire crews responded to a separate incident in the 600-block of Pineview Road on Wednesday morning, March 1, after a pair of vehicles were destroyed in a fire. Those fires are also considered suspicious.
Later that day, the Penticton Indian Band Fire Department also responded to a fully-involved vehicle that had been torched in a wooded area of Green Mountain Road.