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

‘Not much has changed’: Why overcrowding in Surrey schools has persisted for decades

FINAL IN A SERIES: Education minister, longtime trustee weigh in on packed Surrey schools

Dream of touring about to come true for White Rock comedian who uses wheelchair

‘Ramp for Ryan’ benefit show raised $4,500 for Ryan Lachance’s portable ramp

City, RCMP tackling “distressed” Surrey properties

The idea is to improve public safety and social concerns in Surrey’s neighbourhoods

Cloverdale Legion to crush cars with a 38-ton tank this Saturday

Open house will have carnival games, a BB range and more

VIDEO: Rare white killer whale captured by drone near Campbell River

The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means ‘moon.’

New Westminster police seek video of fight between two teens

Police responded to a fight at Pier Park in the early hours of June 14

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

B.C. temporarily halts resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

‘The Fonz’ gives thumbs up in letter to dyslexic students at B.C. school

Students in Maple Ridge reached out to Henry Winkler after reading one his Zipster books.

Most Read