RCMP: "Pranks" put Castlegar residents' lives at risk
It appears the Grinch is at work in Castlegar, marring the holiday season with ill-considered “pranks” that could ultimately cost people their lives.
Castlegar RCMP Sgt. Laurel Mathew said there have been at least five known incidences of suspects throwing rocks and/or chunks of wood at passing vehicles along the 800 block of Columbia Avenue, in front of the forestry building.
All the incidents have taken place between 5 and 8:30 p.m.
“It's utter stupidity ...there's nothing to be gained from it, and there are just so many horrible things that could happen,” she said. “I can't read minds, but why else would you throw rocks and wood at passing cars, other than to just see what will happen? It's not like they're targeting specific people.
“It's dangerous, pointless, reckless... it's beyond me why anyone would do something so stupid.”
She said the most recent incident involved a woman whose car window was smashed as she drove with her children in the car, and it's blind luck, not good management, that no one was injured.
“Police have located a small, dug-out-type area near the tracks across from the forestry building, where it appears the suspects are sitting as they throw items onto passing cars,” she said. “They actually hit a passing off-duty (RCMP) member, who threw his car into park and went after them, but by the time he got near the tracks, they were long gone ...all he saw was dark shadows running away.”
She appealed to the public to provide any information they can, as police do not yet have descriptions of the culprits, and they want to stop this behaviour before someone gets hurt or killed.
“And if you happen to see something or experience this, if you can, please pull over and call us right away … don't wait until you get all the way home to call.
“Timing is everything.”
She said extra effort is being expended to apprehend the suspects.
As for the suspects themselves, she suggested they get a hobby, as this one is simply unacceptable.
“It's one-hundred-per-cent preventable,” she said.
If you see or hear anything regarding these crimes, please call 9-1-1 or the Castlegar detachment at 250-365-7721.