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RCMP investigating linked arsons/shootings

An Insurance Corporation of B.C. employee has been fired in connection with an RCMP investigation into 13 arsons and shootings that targeted people linked to the Justice Institute of British Columbia in New Westminster.

Investigators aren't saying where specifically the victims live, or where they were targeted, but said none of the victims appear affilitated with any criminal activity. There were no injuries.

"We can now state the investigation revealed a link to an ICBC employee, who allegedly accessed personal information of 65 individuals, including the 13 unidentified victims," RCMP Chief Supt. Janice Armstrong said. "That employee, along with other individuals, is under continued police investigation."

The joint investigation, involving RCMP and municipal police departments, was announced in early September in concert with senior management at the Justice Institute of B.C., a post-secondary education institution based in New Westminster.

Police say the incidents have occurred throughout the Lower Mainland, and do not target any specific area. They would not be more specific about which cities were directly impacted.

"We are appalled that one of our employees inappropriately accessed the information of so many customers without any apparent business reason to do so," ICBC president Jon Schubert said.

Justice Institute president Jack McGee said steps have been taken in response to the police investigation.

"The safety and security of our students, staff, faculty, and the public who use our campuses is of paramount importance to (the Justice Institute)."

Supt. Armstrong said police are continuing their investigation.

"In response to the victims' concerns, I can say we have a large, dedicated team of investigators, who have gathered a considerable amount of evidence. We anticipate that all those responsible for these violent criminal acts will ultimately be brought to justice," Armstrong said.

Anyone with information about these attacks is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip at www.bccrimestoppers.com.

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