July 18th, 2024

Vancouver Police release video showing suspect in synagogue arson

By The Canadian Press on June 26, 2024.

An image from video showing a man in the vicinity of a recent Vancouver synagogue arson attack is shown in a police handout. Police in Vancouver have released video showing a man who is believed to have set fire to the front entrance of a synagogue last month with the prospect that someone may recognize the suspect. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Vancouver Police Department **MANDATORY CREDIT**

VANCOUVER – Police in Vancouver have released video showing a man who is believed to have set fire to the front entrance of a synagogue last month in the hope that someone may recognize the suspect.

The security video shows a man wearing a dark jacket, light ball cap and a medical face mask approaching the front steps of the Schara Tzedeck synagogue on Vancouver’s Oak Street on May 30 with a time stamp of 9:41 p.m.

The man is carrying a clear bottle with liquid inside, and he unscrews the cap before disappearing from the frame.

Less than a minute later, there is a bright flash and the video shows the man walking quickly down the synagogue stairs and onto the street.

A second video shows the front entrance from a different angle as orange flames spark and then flare up as the man walks away.

The police statement says investigators are looking to speak with anyone who might recognize the suspect in the video, as well as the driver of a beige or silver minivan that was seen in the area at the time of the fire.

Rabbi Andrew Rosenblatt has said people were inside the synagogue after services that same night, when they heard a “bang” outside.

But he said it was a passerby who alerted them that their building was on fire, before a member of the congregation put out the flames with his jacket.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2024.

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