(Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)

Crime Briefs: Communication tower arson; scam targets businesses

TOWER DOWN

Starlynx Communications owner Chris Mossiman was surprised the radios on his communications tower on Hudson Bay Mountain stopped checking in with his servers on Sept. 28.

On investigation, he found the base of the tower had been set on fire causing it to topple disrupting service to his customers.

“There was a strong smell of diesel on the site so I think they carried in a 20-litre container of diesel to the site and poured it on the platform,” he said.

He estimates the fire was set between midnight and 12:45 a.m. because the last server check-in was at 1 a.m.

Police confirmed there was an accelerant used, but what kind of accelerant has not been confirmed by tests.

Smithers RCMP Staff Sgt. Terry Gillespie said there was little else discovered by a property crimes examiner of forensic interest.

He said the investigation remains open. Anybody with information on this crime or others should contact local RCMP at 250-847-3233.

BUSINESS SCAM

The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce is warning area businesses about a scam that is circulating.

According to a Chamber bulletin, a business by the name of E-Workforce Training Inc. has been calling local businesses to take part in compulsory violence and harassment in the workplace courses.

The bulletin said it has been successful in getting some Bulkley Valley businesses to sign up.

“Please be advised this is a scam to get businesses to pay for courses that are not recognized nor compulsory,” the bulletin states.

There is a company in Ontario called e-Workforce training, which has been reported to the Better Business Bureau 26 times in its 12-year history, but it is unclear whether this is the same organization or whether someone posing as the company or as a similarly named company.

Smithers RCMP Sgt. Terry Gillespie said he has not been made aware of this particular scam, but that the local detachment gets up to 20 reports of fraud, attempted fraud or suspected fraud every week.

He said the appropriate action to take if a person believes they have already been taken advantage of or if they believe they may have given a fraudster personal information that could make them a victim, is to report it to the local detachment

Otherwise, he said, it is best to contact the Canadian Ant-Fraud Centre.