Random acts of vandalism make no sense

Recent incidents baffle residents of Nakusp and cost taxpayers

RYAN WILLMAN

Arrow Lakes News

Vandalism and theft are not victimless crimes — they have repercussions whose effects ripple out through a community and drain resources that could be focused elsewhere.

Recently, some individual or individuals took it upon themselves to remove 17 sprinkler heads off sprinklers along the waterfront walkway, a move that carries with it a repair cost of  $1500 of taxpayer’s money. Even more baffling is the reported incident that involved two people digging plants out of the public waterfront gardens. When community members confronted the vandals, the pair responded by saying “mind your own business,” and continued to deface public property.

“This is a cost to our taxpayers and digging up flowers is stealing — no question about it,” Mayor Karen Hamling said. “It is not ‘thinning’, as some people have tried to justify. If people want flowers, they should drop off their name at the village office and when our crews do the scheduled thinning, they can pick up the flowers then.”

In response to the sprinkler and flower incidents, Hamling is reaching out to the community to ask for help identifying vandals and encourages citizens to report any theft or destruction around town.

“The village can act as a sort of crime stoppers,” Hamling explains. “Most people probably don’t know this, but the village office doesn’t have caller ID or call display, so any report that comes in can remain anonymous.”

Hamling is disheartened by the recent destructive acts, but acknowledges the majority of community members are responsible and respectful and the actions of a few do not represent the whole.

“We are all trying hard to make Nakusp a special place to be and if anyone has any information on any of these occurrences, please report it to the RCMP or the Village of Nakusp office.”