After 11 free community book exchanges known as “Little Libraries” were torched in Coquitlam earlier this spring, police said they have now arrested two teenagers in connection with the incidents.
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In a release, Coquitlam RCMP credited tips from the public with helping them identify two teenage male suspects in the investigation.
A 19-year-old and a 17-year-old, both from Port Coquitlam, have been arrested and released on a Promise to Appear in court on October 10, 2019.
Each suspect is facing a charge of arson causing damage to property.
“The community told us that these 11 fires were a serious concern, so we assigned Coquitlam RCMP’s Arson Unit to the case,” said Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin in the release.
He added that during the investigation, police “used a lot of resources including surveillance, search warrants, production orders, and cooperation from our city partners at both Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.”
In the end, “a tip from the public put us over the top and directly led to these charges.”
The first of 11 fires was started on March 20, 2019, and continued until May 18, 2019.
McLaughlin also credited fire crews in both Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam with helping to ensure the blazes weren’t more serious and remained under control.
“Fire departments helped ensure these fires didn’t spread and also helped our investigators collate evidence,” he said. “Many of these book exchanges were located near homes and green spaces and the damage could have been worse.
And while two teens have now been arrested, police noted the investigation is still not over, and more charges could be possible.
As such, anyone has more information about the fires is asked to call the Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550 and ask for the Arson Unit.