Arrests made as police crack arsons targeting JIBC staff

Langley man alleged to have orchestrated deliberate fires, shootings targeting 15 people across Metro Vancouver

Police have made two arrests in connection with more than 20 arsons or shootings across Metro Vancouver that targeted students and staff of the Justice Institue of B.C. in 2011 and 2012.

Langley resident Vincent Eric Gia-Hwa Cheung, 40, is alleged to be the orchestrator of the attacks and faces 19 arson-related counts involving damage to vehicles or homes, and another four of intentionally shooting at or into cars or homes.

Thurman Ronley Taffe, a 54-year-old Burnaby resident, is charged with one count of intentionally or recklessly damaging a home with fire.

Police say 15 innocent people were targeted.

A threatening email sent in July 2011 to the JIBC, which trains police and other law enforcement officers, named nine people, all of whom had their homes or vehicles targeted in the preceding months.

Investigators determined an ICBC employee had queried the 15 victims’ licence plates to gain their personal details.

The investigation gained momentum in January of 2012, when three suspects connected to an arson in Surrey were identified, leading police to zero in on Cheung, alleged to be behind all the attacks.

Some victims began receiving suspicious letters in early 2015, one of which warned the attacks would soon resume.

“We know there are still people who have additional information about these offences and this investigation is continuing with further arrrests and charges anticipated,” said Kevin Hackett, chief officer of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

He said the accused used “cunning and calculated misdirection” to try to throw off police, complicating the probe.

Five arsons took place in both Surrey and other arsons or shootings took place in West Vancouver, Lions Bay, Vancouver, Richmond, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Maple Ridge.

Just Posted

Proudly Surrey modifies child-care policy

Slate wants to use school board property for child-care spaces

Surrey school board wants to expand French Immersion program

District had to close program at Cougar Creek Elementary due to low enrolment

VIDEO: Scarecrow festival kicks off in Port Kells

Fourth-annual event will be on until Halloween

Delta to craft whistle-blower policy

The policy is meant to increase public trust and create support for staff in questionable situations

VIDEO: North Delta Studio Stomp back for sixth year

The annual art event has local artists opening their studios to the public this weekend

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Remainder of Vancouver Whitecaps season filled with ‘must-win’ games: coach

With Vancouver currently sitting four points out of a post-season spot, each contest is crucial

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Most Read