Submitted by Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck
Columbia Valley RCMP
This week the Columbia Valley RCMP responded to about 50 calls for service; last year that number hovered around 40. The following is a summary of a couple of the more interesting calls:
• During the morning of Tuesday, December 5th Columbia Valley RCMP received reports of damage and theft from several motor vehicles as well as storage lockers that were located in an underground parking garage in Radium Hot Springs. Reports and evidence at the scene suggest a dark vehicle showed up in the area in the middle of the night and at least two people entered the garage; it is unknown exactly how. Once inside the garage 12 vehicles were broken into and looked through; some articles of value were taken from a select few vehicles. The thieves then left in the dark vehicle about 10 minutes later. Some articles have been recovered in Golden and Salmon Arm suggesting the culprits are not from the Valley. If anyone has any information about this crime they are asked to contact the detachment or Crimestoppers.
• On Thursday, December 7th Columbia Valley RCMP received two separate reports of motor vehicle collisions with big horned sheep. The first incident witnessed a minivan travelling at the posted speed of 60 km/hr when a big horn sheep jumped in front of his vehicle; there was extensive damage to the van. The sheep was injured by the impact, breaking its rear left leg; unfortunately it disappeared into the mountainside before police could properly dispatch the ram. Later that day a white SUV was travelling through the Kootenay National Park when the driver noted a big horn sheep in the middle of the road. The imminent darkness of the highway led to the last second reveal of the ram. Although the driver swerved to avoid the sheep he still struck it with the driver side of his vehicle; the sheep’s condition was not known at the time police were notified.
• At about 1 a.m. on Saturday, December 9th Columbia Valley RCMP were on patrol in Invermere when the officer noted a white Volkswagen travelling on a rarely used roadway. The officer wished to ensure the driver had a driver’s licence and was carrying the proper documentation for the vehicle. It was also quickly noted that the licence plate did not match the VW. The driver stated that he had just gone to pick up his son, who was a passenger in the vehicle, and was on his way home. The RCMP noted a strong odour of liquor coming from the vehicle. The driver was demanded to provide a sample of his breath into a screening device; the driver complied. The sample was analysed as a “Warn”. Consequently the driver was given a 3 Day Immediate Roadside Prohibition issued and the vehicle was impounded for 3 days. The driver was also given a number of violation tickets for no insurance, no drivers licence, and misuse of licence plate.
• On Saturday, December 9th at 1:30 p.m., RCMP were on patrol in Invermere when they pulled over a small truck to ensure the driver had the proper documentation and sobriety to operate a motor vehicle. When the officer approached the driver side window to speak to the driver it was noted that the female driver had bloodshot eyes and smelled of liquor. The driver replied that she had nothing to drink this day but that she had been drinking with her girlfriends the previous night. Taking all the evidence into consideration the officer demanded that the driver provide samples of her breath into an approved screening device. The driver eventually complied and she provided the required samples; both were analysed as “Fail”. Therefore, she is now prohibited from driving for 90 days and her vehicle was seized for 30 days.
• The Christmas party season is upon us and I’d like to take this opportunity to let everyone know that we are taking extra steps to ensure our roads and highways remain safe. Check-stops and random patrols will increase in an attempt to rid any impaired drivers from behind the wheel. If you are planning on having some liquor at your respective parties, have a great time… but please plan for a safe ride home.