vaughan arsonist

Security camera catches arsonist setting fire to GTA strip mall

Police in Vaughan are looking for the driver of a white Mercedes who they believe to have broken the windows of local law office before dousing the place in gasoline and then setting it on fire.

Surveillance footage of the brazen crime, released by York Regional Police on Friday, shows the suspect getting out of a car in the otherwise empty parking lot of a commercial plaza near Rutherford Road and Highway 400 around 2 a.m. on January 7.

The hooded arsonist walks up to the front door of a business in the strip mall and, after arranging three gas cans on the sidewalk, throws what appears to be some sort of rock right through the glass.

The person then drops two full vessels of liquid into the office and pours a third one out in the entranceway. A single tossed match makes quick work of the job, sparking a fire that nearly swallows up the suspect as they jump away from the door.

The hooded arsonist then simply gets into their car and speeds away, leaving behind little more than what police called a "strong smell of gasoline."

It's clear upon watching the video how hard this person worked to pull off the crime without getting caught—never once can you see any identifying details in the video, save for the suspect's licence plates, which police say were found to have been stolen from the City of Toronto.

Nobody was injured in the blaze, which was extinguised by Vaughan Fire and Rescue Services, but York Regional Police are very keen on learning the mystery arsonist's identity.

Anyone with information or who may have been around 3550 Rutherford Road at 2 a.m. on January 7 is asked to contact York Regional Police's #4 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-866-876-5423, ext.7441.

Lead photo by

York Regional Police


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