Submitted by Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck
Columbia Valley RCMP
This week the Columbia Valley RCMP responded to about 45 calls for service; last year that number was just above 50. The following is a summary of a couple of the more interesting calls:
• On Tuesday, December 12th Columbia Valley RCMP received a report that a local resident responded to what appeared to be a fraudulent rental ad on Kijiji. The resident started corresponding with a male named “Marcos” while looking into renting a property in Fairmont. The male asked the resident to transfer $2,000 rent and a $,1000 security deposit but did not send any sort of rental agreement. The resident, feeling a bit uncomfortable at sending so much money with no formal agreement, did a drive by of the property and noted it had a “For Sale” sign. The real estate website of the property details contained different photos than the ones “Marcos” had sent. Wishing to confirm, the resident called the real estate company who confirmed the owner of the home had a different name than “Marcos”. The resident believed the ad was fraudulent and thus did not send any money and reported the incident to police.
• During the morning hours of Thursday, December 14th Columbia Valley RCMP received a report from a young man living near Invermere reporting that his Subaru Forester was stolen out of his driveway. The vehicle owner stated that he left the car unlocked and there was a spare key in the car. While police were on scene a number of neighbours also identified that their unlocked vehicles had been rummaged through. All vehicles involved were unlocked at the time. The stolen Subaru has not been recovered yet.
• Over the past week Columbia Valley RCMP along with the East Kootenay RCMP traffic services increased our vigilance surrounding impaired driving. Consequently we pulled 12 impaired drivers off the road in 7 days. The following is a quick snap shot of those; Wednesday, December 13th, RCMP members were conducting a checkstop near Radium Hot Springs when a driver approached the checkstop and officers noted a smell of liquor emanating from the male driver along with an open case of beer in the vehicle. Investigation led to a 7 day drivers licence prohibition. On Friday, December 15th at about 9 p.m., police were in Invermere when they noted a truck fail to stop at a stop sign. The officer spoke to the driver who had bloodshot eyes and smelled of liquor. The driver provided samples of his breath that analyzed as a “Fail”. The result for the driver meant he is prohibited from driving for 90 days and his vehicle was impounded 30 days. Then, on Saturday, December 16th at about 2:30 a.m., police witnessed a vehicle run through a stop sign in Invermere; as the officers were chatting with the driver they noted a strong odour of liquor. This driver provided two samples into a screening device which were analyzed as “Fail” readings. Finally, on Sunday, December 17th at about 2:30 a.m., police were patrolling the Invermere downtown core when a sedan was observed travelling on the centre line a few times along with some over-corrections and unnecessary braking. When the car was pulled over by police, it hit the curb. The young female driver denied consuming any alcohol but she displayed such evidence as an odour of liquor on her breath, slurred speech, and glossy eyes. She eventually admitted to drinking before she decided to drive. Her two breath samples resulted in “Fail”. She too lost her driver’s licence for 90 days and her car was impounded for 30 days.
• On Sunday, December 17th I was conducting some enhanced speed enforcement throughout the Kootenay National Park. Needless to say there was no shortage of work in the 90 km/hr zone. When I stopped for a coffee in Radium the wonderful coffee attendants were asking me if my actions were having any kind of effect; my only reply – it’s akin to trying to squeegee a beach.
On behalf of all of us here at the Columbia Valley RCMP detachment, have a happy holiday season and cherish this time with friends and family. We will be working throughout the holidays to make sure you and your loved ones remain safe.