(Photo by Myles Sauer/Victoria Buzz)

VicPD are crediting the public after a woman went on a crime spree which included her starting several grass fires using a torch in Beacon Hill Park.

In a media release, VicPD thanked the public for extinguishing a bunch of small grass fires while officers responded to a string of other incidents committed by the woman, including an attempt to steal a vehicle and breaking into a nearby residence.

VicPD were dispatched around 5:30 p.m. to Beacon Hill Park near the 200-block of Simcoe Street for a report that a woman was walking in the area, using a small torch to light sections of grass on fire.

Several people were following the woman and extinguishing the flames before they spread out of control.

An arriving officer found the woman sitting near a van in the area and recognized her as being wanted on a warrant from Duncan.

As the officer attempted to take the woman into custody, she fought back and leaped into the nearby van, which did not belong to her.

While still fighting with the officer, the woman started the van and attempted to drive away. The officer then deployed pepper spray, impacting both their visions and causing the woman to flee the van.

The officer radioed for additional units to assist and helped secure the running vehicle.

As additional officers arrived, a person in the 200-block of Douglas Street flagged them down after they had to flee their suite in an apartment building with their dog after a woman broke in.

To person told officers the suspect had entered their suite, taken clothes from their bedroom closet, and was taking a shower.

Police located the woman in the bathroom and were able to take her into custody without further incident.

In addition to being wanted on a warrant out of Duncan, investigating officers learned the woman is also awaiting disposition of several charges related to a number of incidents including an alleged assault of staff at a multi-unit temporary housing facility, as well as mischief and break and enter files.

She now faces additional recommended charges related to arson, breaking and entering, attempted theft of a motor vehicle, flight from police, and resisting arrest.

“Given the tinder-dry conditions, VicPD would like to thank the members of the public who extinguished the numerous small grass fires that the woman had started,” said Victoria police spokesman Bowen Osoko.

Anyone with information is asked to call the VicPD at (250) 995-7654. To report what you know anonymously, call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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