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A picture provided to police of the blue and yellow 2018 Peterbuilt tractor rope truck following the blaze

Merritt RCMP is now investigating after a piece of heavy equipment on a Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) site near Merritt BC was the target of an act of vandalism and theft one day and the subject of a suspicious blaze another.

On May 19, 2020 during the early morning hours, Merritt RCMP received a report of a suspicious vehicle fire, after crews discovered a blue Peterbuilt rope truck had burned. The blaze resulted in a total loss of the truck. The same commercial vehicle was targeted in an act of mischief and a theft of fuel earlier in the weekend.

“The fire scene had been secured by Merritt RCMP, for a full examination completed by forensic specialists and fire investigators with the RCMP Southeast District General Investigation Section,” states Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, Media Relations Officer for the RCMP Southeast District. “RCMP has since learned that there were individuals camping over the weekend in the immediate area of the impacted vehicle. GIS investigators are seeking to identify those campers, as they may hold key information.”

Police are also asking all motorists who may have travelled thru the area of Highway 5A and Tillery Road, outside of Merritt BC on the evening of May 18 into the early morning hours of May 19, to review their dash camera footage and contact police.

“At this stage of the investigation it is unknown whether the acts were targeted in nature or simply crimes of opportunity,” adds Cpl. O’Donaghey.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Merritt RCMP Detachment

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