Vandals destroyed an excavator at the Ambleside subdivision site last week

Vandals destroyed an excavator at the Ambleside subdivision site last week

Vandals cause up to $80k damage to excavator

Smithers RCMP looking for information from the public.

Vandals destroyed an excavator at the new Ambleside Park subdivision development last week, causing between $50,000 and $80,000 damage.

Jim Dobinson, Ambleside Projects Ltd. president, said someone spent a lot of time on the construction site, damaging virtually anything within reach on the large piece of machinery.

“It’s disheartening,” Dobinson said, adding they had no other incidents like this during the development. “Anything and everything [was damaged.] Smashed windows, doors, damaged wiring, damaged the engine. It had to be a small group. One person would not have hung around that long.”

Coincidentally, the engine had just been replaced the week before the incident, to the tune of $30,000.

“It didn’t even turn a wheel. It didn’t move, then it was damaged,” he said.

Kent Delwisch, owner of Delwisch Design Group, said he was disappointed the developer, from Vancouver Island, had this experience in Smithers.

Delwisch Design Group designed the subdivision and is supervising the construction of the project.

“I have a lot of pride in the project and our town,” Delwisch said.

“It’s too bad, I had been telling Jim [Dobinson] that Smithers is a great little town away from the city life.

“[This is] really just a selfish, needless act by a couple of dummys. This will result in another insurance claim that ends up increasing premiums for all businesses in our area, not to mention increased construction costs. Everyone loses here.”

The Smithers RCMP said they have no suspects and is asking for the public’s assistance in finding those responsible.

Ambleside Projects, Ltd. is working with their insurance company right now to recoup the loss.

But Dobinson has another idea of how to cover the cost of the damages.

“[The vandals’] parents can pay for it.”

In other RCMP news, on Nov. 15 at about 9 p.m., Smithers RCMP received a report of a multiple vehicle collision on Highway 16 near Nouch Road. Fire Rescue, BC Ambulance and Smithers RCMP responded. Police investigation revealed that four vehicles were stopped by flaggers due to a road stoppage further west, when a minivan slammed into the back of them. Several occupants of all vehicles were injured, however none were life threatening. All the vehicles sustained damage and the highway was temporarily closed. Alcohol was a factor and Smithers RCMP are recommending charges of Refusing to Provide a Breath Sample and Impaired Driving against a 38-year-old female from Moricetown. The female is scheduled to appear in Smithers Provincial Court in January 2014.

Between Nov. 16 and 18, Smithers RCMP conducted vehicle numerous vehicle stops checking for sober, licensed drivers and ensuring vehicles were registered and insured. As a result of these checks, eight drivers were issued Immediate Roadside Prohibitions due to being intoxicated. Their vehicles were impounded for 30 days and they were prohibited from driving for 90 days under the Motor Vehicle Act. Smithers RCMP will continue to conduct road stops and wish to remind the public, if they are going to consume alcohol; to make alternate arrangements for transportation.

“People still don’t seem to be getting the message and continue to get behind the wheel after a few drinks,” said Smithers RCMP Sgt. Andrew Hunter. “As we approach the holidays, we will be conducting hi visibility enforcement in Smithers, Telkwa and Moricetown.”

On Nov. 18 at 9:10 p.m., Smithers RCMP responded to a complaint of a physical altercation in an apartment building on King Street. Upon entering the building, police located a witness physically restraining a male in order to prevent him assaulting a female. Police arrested the male and he was brought to cells. A bail hearing was subsequently held and the 38-year-old male from Burns Lake was charged with Assault and Uttering Threats under the Criminal Code. The male was released on a recognizance with strict conditions. The female suffered minor injuries and did not require medical attention.

Anyone with information on these events is asked to contact the Smithers RCMP detachment at (250) 847-3233 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).