The suspects in the firebombing of a Glebe bank used a rented 2010 SUV as their getaway car, and clocked more than 1,500 kilometres before returning the vehicle the next day, the Citizen has learned.
One of the suspects used his credit card and driver’s licence to rent the GMC Acadia from a ByWard Market agency on May 17, the day before the early-morning firebombing of a Royal Bank of Canada branch on Bank Street.
The suspect reportedly declined insurance and re-fill service charges. He registered only himself as a driver and returned the rented SUV on time.
Ottawa police detectives have seized the SUV and dusted it inside and out for fingerprints.
The Citizen has also learned that police seized the floor mats from the SUV and are now testing them for evidence in what they call a top-priority investigation.
According to the suspect’s MasterCard information, he was charged a $500 deposit, which was refunded when the vehicle was returned.
His driver’s licence lists his address. No one answered the door when the Citizen went to the residence.
The SUV is equipped with an OnStar Communications system, which affords police with search warrants or production orders the vehicle’s exact locations, speed and direction at any given time. It is understood that detectives are exploring the rented getaway car’s route from May 17 to May 19.
The firebombing by anarchist group FFFC-Ottawa, which was filmed and posted online, was an unsophisticated attack and, as a result, detectives have collected trace evidence from the burned-out branch at Bank Street and First Avenue.
The police department has also secured security video from storefronts along Bank and First, including high-definition images.
The “homegrown terrorists,” who attacked the bank because it sponsored the Vancouver Olympics, made their getaway in the rented SUV, according to police.
The group is believed to include at least four people. They are linked to an online independent media site and an anti-establishment network that organizes protests against G8 and G20 summits, unfair trade and government cuts to welfare.
Ottawa police Chief Vern White has said he is confident his detectives will make arrests soon.
Detectives are in overdrive, prompted in part by the “catch-me-if-you-can” video of the attack posted by the firebombers.