POLICE BEAT: Thief gets away with extension cord, possible asbestos exposure

Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
February 25th, 2013

A thief who broke into the Winnipeg Hotel demolition site may have got more than they bargained for – future lung cancer from asbestos exposure.

Grand Forks RCMP were called out to the hotel at 7:25 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20 after a bucket with 800-feet of yellow extension cord valued at $1,300 was discovered missing at the demolition site.

Aside from the cord being stolen, the thief may be in for a surprise when they discover they may have been exposed to the asbestos that has been found within the building and is now being removed carefully by professionals.

“They went past the banner on the outside that says toxic, so I have no sympathy,” said Grand Forks RCMP staff sergeant Jim Harrison.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen and when breathed in can cause scarring within the lung tissue. Exposure to the fibers can cause a rare lung cancer called mesothelioma or asbestosis. Also, the fibers, which have been disturbed during the demolition of the Winnipeg Hotel, can cling to clothing and be taken home, were others can breath in the fibers too, according to the National Cancer Institute in the United States at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/asbestos.

As a result of the break-in, a 24-hour security guard has been hired to watch over the site, said Harrison.

While police have not caught the person responsible, they have a list of usual suspects they will start working from.

Police continue to call for the public’s help in the North Fork arson cases

Grand Forks RCMP continue to look for the person or people responsible for the four arson-related fires that were set in the North Fork Road area over the past month.

Two of those fires happened this past week – on at a residence on Miller Creek Road and the other at Hummingbird Bridge.

“It is a difficult case and we’re having a difficult time determining the motive,” said Harrison.

He said the usual insurance fraud doesn’t apply – nothing that has been burned was insured. That just leaves personal vendetta, which has yet to be found, or a seriously sick firebug.

Harrison said fire bugs “are really rare” but not impossible. Someone who has an itch to burn things typically will watch the fire and may even have been in the crowd that gathered when the fire trucks arrived.

When police arrive on scene they will often photograph not only the crime scene but the crime spectators as well.

“Residents can look around and see who is there and who has left in a big hurry,” said Harrison of what he needs people to call in and report. “Even the most insignificant thing may be helpful. Something that may seem unimportant may be the last piece of the puzzle.”

“We will solve these cases hopefully before anybody gets hurt, that is our biggest concern,” he said.

If you have some information to share with police about this case please call the Grand Forks detachment at 250-442-8288 or you can leave an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Vehicle collides with logging truck after running stop sign

A male Grand Forks driver likely regrets his decision to run a stop sign after colliding with a logging truck at 4:17 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 22.

The incident happened at the corner of 68th Street and 2nd Street in Grand forks. The man ran the stop sign while driving his Dodge Durango and collided with the front end of a logging truck causing over $1,000 in damages.

Alcohol was not a factor and neither driver sustained any injuries, said Harrison.

Driver looses front end of vehicle after swerving to avoid a deer

A 32 year-old female driver had quite a surprise when a deer jumped out onto Highway 3 on Friday, Feb. 22 at 8:46 a.m.

The Kelowna woman swerved to avoid the deer and went off the road at the sharp corner above Riviera RV Park in Grand Forks.

The whole front end of her vehicle was pulled away, said Harrison.

The deer may have been spared, but her 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt sustained more than $7,000 in damages.


Categories: CrimeGeneral