A string of vehicle break-ins and a suspicious car fire kept RCMP and the Merritt Fire Rescue Department (MFRD) busy in the early hours of Saturday morning.

At about 1 a.m. that night, Merritt police and the fire department responded to a call from the Bedford Apartments on Garcia Street of a car on fire.

The interior of a parked Toyota had been set ablaze in the parking lot of the apartments.

It had been left unlocked.

Fire Chief Dave Tomkinson told the Herald six firefighters responded to the fire and had it out by about 2 a.m.

The vehicle was unoccupied and no one was injured.

There was also no collateral damage caused by the fire.

The vehicle belonged to a resident of the apartments and while its exterior was left intact, the inside of the car was completely destroyed, RCMP Const. Tracy Dunsmore said.

At this point, the cause of the fire is unknown, but it’s believed to have started inside the car on the passenger seat, Dunsmore said.

Dunsmore said police are making inquiries, but do not have an suspects at this time.

Three nearby residents reported having their vehicles broken into that night as well.

This is the sixth suspicious fire in Merritt since June.

At about the same time as the fire, a resident living in the 2100 block of Nicola Avenue reported that he discovered his car door was left ajar and it appeared as though someone had been rummaging through his vehicle, thinking he may have scared the perpetrator away.

Two residents of cul-de-sac-street Taylor Place, which is about a block away from the Bedford Apartments, also reported that their vehicles had been rummaged through as well.

Dunsmore said police are not sure if any of these reports are related, but police are asking for the public’s assistance.

If you have any information regarding these reports call the RCMP at 250-378-4262 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.