Abbotsford man charged with arson spree

Colby Drew Jandrew, 20, charged with fires that were set on April 16 and 18.

A fire on April 16 at an abandoned home on Hillcrest Avenue was among five arsons in a 48-hour period.

A fire on April 16 at an abandoned home on Hillcrest Avenue was among five arsons in a 48-hour period.

A 20-year-old Abbotsford man has been charged with a series of arsons that took place in the community in mid-April.

Colby Drew Jandrew was charged  Sunday with four counts of arson and one count of public mischief.

He remains in custody and is next slated to appear in Abbotsford provincial on May 23.

Const. Ian MacDonald, spokesman for the Abbotsford Police Department (APD), said the arrest was the result of “good diligent work” by investigators, who were aided by tips from the community and surveillance video from businesses and individuals.

“We got a lot of help,” he said.

MacDonald said police are not releasing details about how the fires were set. Any connection with a series of arsons in Mission on April 24 has been ruled out.

MacDonald said the fires all appear to have been randomly set.

He said Jandrew (in photo) was a person of interest in the arsons when he was arrested for, and charged with, a break-and-enter in Abbotsford on April 19.

He has been in custody since that time, having been convicted of that offence on April 22 and sentenced to 30 days in jail, followed by 18 months’ probation.

Investigators expressed concern that a serial arsonist was at work in the community following three fires in the early morning of April 16.

Those arsons took place at an abandoned home on Hillcrest Avenue, at the outside rear of the Red Apple Food Store on Marshall Road while seven people were inside the residential units of the building, and an outside covered area at a bank in the 2500 block of Clearbrook Road.

Forty-eight hours later, two more arsons occurred – one at another abandoned home on Hillcrest Avenue and the other at a carport of a home occupied by four people on Adelaide Street.

“Theses fire created a great deal of concern for the community, especially in the affected areas and neighbourhoods,” MacDonald said.

According to the provincial court database, Jandrew was convicted last November in Port Coquitlam of mischief, breaching his bail conditions, possession of stolen property, dangerous operation of a vehicle, and failing to stop at an accident.

He was sentenced to one day in jail and a one-year driving ban.

In February of this year, he was found guilty in Abbotsford of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm and was sentenced to one day in jail followed by one year of probation.