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Man charged with string of arson fires in Edson, Whitecourt, Niton Junction



A man and a teenage boy have been charged with multiple counts of arson after a string of fires at car dealerships in Edson, a pet store in Whitecourt and a gas station in Niton Junction.

The series of fires spanned three months in three communities in west-central Alberta. 

The first two incidents happened on Dec. 9, 2019, when a fire broke out at the Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership in Edson. That same day, a vehicle in Edson was set on fire.

On Dec. 26, a fire broke out at KW Pet Store in Whitecourt.

Four days later, a fire was set at Edson Honda.

The most recent fire happened on Feb. 23 at the Petro Canada service station in Niton Junction.

RCMP said in a news release Wednesday that 37-year-old Thomas James Berube and a 17-year-old youth, both from Edson, have been charged with: 

  • Arson – damage to property (Edson Chrysler Dodge Jeep)
  • Break and enter – commit theft over $5,000 (Edson Chrysler Dodge Jeep)
  • Arson – damage to property (motor vehicle)
  • Theft of motor vehicle over $5,000.

Both accused are also charged with arson, break and enter, and killing or injuring animals in connection with the fire at the KW Pet Store in Whitecourt.

They also face arson and break-and-enter charges for the fire at Edson Honda.

Berube has also been charged with arson and break and enter for the Petro Canada fire in Niton Junction.

The name of the youth cannot be released under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Both are in custody and have a court appearance scheduled at Edson provincial court on March 17.

During the break-in at the KW Pet Store on Dec. 26, a four-month-old male Chihuahua dog was stolen, police said.

Edson RCMP are looking for help from the public in locating the dog.

This Chihuahua went missing from the KW Pet Store in Whitecourt, Alta., following a break and enter and an arson fire in December. Police are looking to the public for help in locating the dog. (Submitted by RCMP)





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