A security guard’s vehicle was set on fire in an alleyway in North Kamloops in an apparent arson attack while patrolling properties in the Tranquille Road, MacKenzie Avenue and Yew Street areas.
Ed Lapierre, owner of Lapper Security, the company the guard works for, told KTW he is awaiting the results of a police investigation, after filing a report and submitting footage of the June 25 incident.
Lapierre said that while he is convinced the suspect will be arrested, he is not convinced that charges will follow.
He said the vehicle was set on fire while the guard patrolled the Jamaican Kitchen restaurant in Tranquille and Yew with a partner just before midnight.
The vehicle, which was the warden’s personal vehicle and not a Lapper security car, was parked behind the ASK Wellness Society at 433 Tranquille Road, a few doors down from the restaurant.
The guards were alerted to the fire by someone screaming. They tried to put water on it, but had to call a patrol car. A colleague extinguished the blaze with a fire extinguisher, Lapierre said.
Lapierre said it appeared that some sort of accelerator had been poured on the hood, which burned, but the vehicle remains operational.
“The headlights and hood were damaged, but no mechanical damage was sustained,” said Lapierre, noting that his guards had previously received stones and broken windshields.
Lapierre said his guards reported being threatened and pursued with weapons in that alley at night, but no one reported being injured.
“Basically they just walk away and call the RCMP or our patrol division,” Lapierre said.
The burned-out vehicle, Lapierre said, was parked under a camera in the alleyway and they were able to obtain footage of the suspect, a person Lapierre said he recognized as someone Lapper guards saw hanging out in the center. The Loop home nearby, in Tranquille and Mac Kenzie.
Lapierre said the suspect is someone he has personally helped.
He said the guard whose vehicle had burned down was a bit shaken by the experience, but wasted no time working and even helped catch someone in connection with a break-in at another Kamloops neighborhood the next day.
Lapierre said this type of damage is something Lapper security guards face when patrolling areas where the city’s homeless and marginalized populations congregate.
“They don’t have a lot of good days, so when you talk to them they’re always angry and they don’t understand that we have a job to do,” said Lapierre. “It’s not personal. We just need them to move forward.
Lapper has been patrolling the alley around the ASK Wellness Society and ARPA Developments properties in and behind the 400 block of Tranquille Road for about a month. The company was hired because of a noticeable increase in crime and social unrest, ASK Wellness Society executive director Bob Hughes told KTW.
Security guards are also patrolling the Jamaican Kitchen property at ASK’s request, as the restaurant has been broken into twice in the past two months.