Vandals cause upwards of $10,000 damage over long weekend
During the long weekend period starting Friday, Aug. 2 to Monday, Aug. 5, the Castlegar RCMP responded to 55 complaints, including expensive vandalism and one major theft, according to Cpl. Debbie Postnikoff.
“The majority of the complaints were causing a disturbance and mischief related incidents,” she said. “Castlegar RCMP issued several violation tickets, Nine of them were contrary to Section 214.2(1) Motor Vehicle Act – Use of an electronic device while driving, which holds a $167.00 fine.
“In comparison to last year, police responded to 67 complaints over the long weekend.”
Meanwhile, persistent vandalism is causing headaches for city officials of all stripes.
“Castlegar RCMP are seeking the assistance of the community in efforts of identifying the individuals responsible for graffiti and other damages to property, specifically in the Millennium, Kinsman Park and Waldie Trail areas over the past few weeks,” she said. “Police are actively reviewing video surveillance in efforts of identifying the suspects. The graffiti tags include the words “DEMO”, “ f.n.c.”, “HASH”, “bcl”, “SLYME”, “DEVIL”, “SLIM”, “HALCYON”, “FELICIA”, “ SHSS Pride” and other various symbols and vulgarities. City of Castlegar Public Works has advised that the clean up associated to the mischief is nearing $10,000. Although the parks remain open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., due to the problems encountered, a decision has been made to close the washrooms at Millennium, Kinsman and Kinnaird Parks at 8 p.m.
“I don’t think the people who are doing this realize the extent of the impact of their crimes. It’s disheartening, and eats up a ton of city time and resources. The cost is ultimately passed on to the taxpayer, so it literally hurts everyone in the community.”
As far as the offenders go, Postnikoff said she doesn’t think they realize just how much trouble they are creating for themselves, either.
“This is a Criminal Code offense – it’s not just a ticket,” Postnikoff said. “You’d be arrested and charged and go through the court process. Right now you’d be looking at being charged with Mischief over $5,000.
“We’re treating this as very serious. We’ve been increasing foot patrols since the initial complaints a few weeks back, and we have private security companies working with us and increasing patrols as well.”
Meanwhile, police are also investigating a major theft, she said.
“On Aug. 5, at 11:45 a.m., police responded to a theft of approximately $12,000 worth of various tools,” she said. “The theft occurred next door to Common Grounds coffee shop on 18 Street. Equipment and supplies were being stored in this rented unit, as renovations were being done just seconds away at the CIBC. A white 1990 SUV vehicle bearing a British Columbia licence plate was observed in front of the unit. Police are looking for any information from the public that may assist in identifying the suspects and vehicle relating to this theft that occurred during broad daylight. The investigation is ongoing.”
Any residents with any information which might assist the police in these investigations are asked to contact the Castlegar RCMP at 250-365-7721 or CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-800-222-TIPS.