Edmonton police are using every means at their disposal to catch a suspect in an arson-for-extortion case. And that includes using one of America’s longest-running crime shows.

EPS robbery detectives working on a three-year-old arson extortion case got a much needed shot in the arm when their case was featured Saturday on America’s Most Wanted. The program runs in the U.S. and Canada has an excellent record for helping to track down criminals.

In this case, 25-year-old Albertan Christopher David Meer is being sought.

“Before we had an opportunity to deal with this individual, we received information he had left Canada,” said Det. Rob Paton. “One of our strategies was to contact America’s Most Wanted.

“Within hours of that segment being aired ... I was already receiving tips.”

Paton says there is still a $25,000 reward outstanding that the Edmonton Police Commission has offered.

The investigation dates back to March 2007 when officers began looking into a possible connection between three arsons in the Edmonton and Pigeon Lake areas.

Two fires in South Edmonton in November and December, 2007, and a third in Pigeon Lake in March of that year were all included in the investigation.

Officers soon learned that they were dealing with a situation that extended beyond three isolated arsons.

Over the course of the investigation it was learned that five individuals, all from Alberta, allegedly used intimidation, fear and violence to affect several of their business and personal relationships in the province.

Investigators have revealed two people were charged and have since pleaded guilty and were sentenced to a federal penitentiary.

Two others are awaiting trial.

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