Advertisement

Tow truck set on fire with driver inside in Richmond Hill, police say

The fire, located in a Richmond Hill plaza, caused damage to a nearby business, police said.  (York Regional Police - image credit)
The fire, located in a Richmond Hill plaza, caused damage to a nearby business, police said. (York Regional Police - image credit)

Police are looking for witnesses after a tow truck was set on fire with the driver inside early Thursday morning in Richmond Hill.

York Regional Police were called to a plaza around Major Mackenzie Drive E. and Leslie Street around 5 a.m. on Thursday, according to a news release.

When they arrived on scene, police say they located a truck that was fully on fire.

The truck was occupied at the time, but the driver exited the vehicle without injury, police said. The driver was likely asleep at the time the incident occurred, said York police Sgt. Andy Pattenden.

The fire quickly spread and caused damage to a nearby business, police said.

A second truck parked next to it was also doused in a liquid, but police say it did not ignite.

Richmond Hill Fire and Emergency Services extinguished the fire, and no one was injured, according to the news release.

In video surveillance of the incident posted online, two suspects in dark coloured clothing can be seen dousing the truck.

The suspects throw an unidentifiable flaming object onto the truck, which is then seen on fire, and the driver exits the truck.

Police said the suspects arrived at the scene in a blue, four-door sedan.

Possible link to pattern of tow truck violence: police

Pattenden said police will be looking into whether the incident is linked to a larger pattern of violence against tow trucks and tow truck drivers across the GTA over the past few years.

"We'll be looking to see if this is part of something bigger," Pattenden said.

Though police have seen arson cases involving tow trucks before, he said this particular incident is unique in that drivers were inside both trucks.

"They're lucky to have escaped with their lives and uninjured," he said.

Anyone with information or video recordings of suspicious activity in the area is asked to contact York Regional Police. They can also submit information anonymously via Crime Stoppers.