Firefighters work to extinguish a vehicle fire early Friday in the parking lot of Okanagan Landing Elementary School. (Vernon Fire Rescue Services photo)

UPDATE: Vehicle goes up in flames at Okanagan Landing school parking lot

Fire destroys Dodge Journey, believed to be stolen, early Friday morning

An investigation is underway into a vehicle fire at a Vernon school parking lot early Friday.

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP members were called to a residence located in the 6900 block of Marshall Road, in Okanagan Landing, just before 3 a.m., where a homeowner was awoken by the sound of his garage door opening and his car being stolen.

“The homeowners advised officers that someone had entered their home while they were sleeping and stole a basket that contained an iPad, two iPhones, and a purse and wallet containing credit cards, identification, and vehicle keys,” said RCMP spokesperson Const. Kelly Brett. “The suspect then accessed the garage and stole a grey Dodge Journey.”

Shortly after the break-and-enter occurred, officers located the stolen Dodge Journey departing from a convenience store. Officers attempted to conduct a road stop, however the vehicle fled at a high rate of speed and was later located at Okanagan Landing School fully engulfed in flames.

Vernon Fire Rescue Services attended and extinguished the blaze.

“We had a single engine and five firefighters on-scene putting out the fire,” said VFRS Chief David Lind. “They were there for a little more than an hour.”

RELATED: Vernon vehicle fires thought to be arson

The vehicle was completely destroyed in the blaze.

“There were no identifying features left, no plates,” said Lind, adding the fire was hard to extinguish due to the “popping and bangs” commonly associated with vehicle fires, as tires, hydraulic shocks and gas tanks go up in flames.

Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP at 250-545-7171. Or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or leaving a tip online at www.nokscrimestoppers.com. You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers. If you provide information that leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

This story has been updated to include information from the RCMP.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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