NEWS

Vancouver arson suspect caught on camera: VPD

10/28/2014 09:09 EDT | Updated 12/28/2014 05:59 EST
Vancouver police are asking the public to help identify a man caught on camera in front of a book publisher's East Vancouver home shortly before the front of the house went up in flames.

- MORE | Rolf Maurer targeted twice in apparent arson attacks

The house fire on Commercial Street near 38th Avenue, determined to be due to arson, broke out on Friday, October 10th at around 4 a.m. PT.

Police have now released photos showing a man wearing a blue hoodie, designer jeans, white runners and black and red gloves. He was seen setting fire to the front of the home, and then running away.

Sixty-nine-year-old East Vancouver book publisher Rolf Maurer, who was renting the house, was inside the home at the time. He escaped by climbing out onto his roof and scrambling down a ladder a neighbour provided.

Minor damage was done to the home, but Maurer has since been forced to move.

Police believe that an accelerant was used, and Maurer said said he believes a Molotov cocktail was used to set the fire.

Maurer has also previously said he believes a business deal gone bad may be responsible for two separate arson attacks aimed at him over the last three years. In 2012, his book publishing business, New Star Books, in the 3400 block of Commercial Street went up in flames in another suspected case of arson.

VPD Sgt. Randy Fincham said police agree with those suspicions.

"We do believe that this person was targeted previously. We do believe that the most recent arson at that home was targeted," Fincham said.

Police also distributed an image of the a vehicle that the suspect was using at the time.

"It appears to be a white sport utility vehicle that was in and around this home," Fincham said.

Fincham said arson involving a home is rare, and police are investigating possible motives.

"Whoever it is targeting this man had followed this person from home to places of employment," he said.

Police said the suspect could face a possible charge of arson with danger to human life.

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