Submitted by Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck
Columbia Valley RCMP
The last week witnessed the Columbia Valley RCMP respond to about 55 calls for service; last year that number was around 65. The following is a summary of a couple of the more interesting calls:
• On Wednesday, February 7th, Columbia Valley RCMP received a report of theft from Syndicate Board Shop in Invermere. The theft, which had occurred on Monday, February 5th, surrounded a person who entered the shop and stole an iPhone 6 which had a value of over $250. Police are asking for assistance in identifying the female (attached picture) who is believed to have information regarding the theft.
• During the morning hours of Thursday, February 8th, Columbia Valley RCMP were dispatched to a motor vehicle incident just east of the Kootenay National Park entrance outside of Radium Hot Springs. A tractor trailer had broken down and was being towed with its front end off the ground. As the tractor trailer was being towed with the semi-driver in the cab, the towing cable snapped, causing the front end of the semi to slam down and hit the pavement. The dropped cab seemingly injured the semi-operator, resulting in a suspected back injury. Ambulance and Fire personnel came to the scene and were able to safely extract the driver and get him some medical assistance.
• On Thursday, February 8th at about 8:30 p.m., Columbia Valley RCMP received a call surrounding some dangerous activity. The complainant reported that there were some people snowboarding while being towed behind a silver vehicle in Fairmont Hot Springs. Police attended and located the vehicle and spoke with the driver; a native of New Zealand. It was explained to the young man that he and his friends could not participate in the activity because of the obvious danger it posed to their personal health and surrounding property. The young man and his friends apologized and went onto safer, more legal activities.
• During the very early morning hours of Saturday, February 10th, Columbia Valley RCMP were on routine patrol when a red Dodge Caravan drove past them at the highway intersection of Hwy 93/95 near the Tim Hortons. The passenger was displaying some odd behaviour so the officer wanted to make sure everything was OK. As police followed behind the Caravan it was noted to take a sharp turn into a nearby hotel parking lot then a second sharp turn in an appearance to avoid police. The officer also noted the rear driver signal was malfunctioning as it did not indicate while the front one was activated. A traffic stop was initiated and the driver pulled over; as soon as the officer started speaking with the male driver he could detect odour of liquor coming from the driver’s breath. The driver admitted to having two drinks before getting behind the wheel. Consequently, the driver was asked to provide a breath sample into an approved screening device, the male complied and the sample resulted in a “Fail”. The driver declined the opportunity to provide a second sample to the officer so the police had no choice but to seize his licence and prohibit him from driving for 90 days while seizing the minivan for 30 days.
We are still receiving a number of complaints surrounding vehicles passing school buses while the Stop Sign and red lights are engaged. We are reminding everyone to please be vigilant around school buses, especially when stopped with lights flashing. We encourage you to take some extra time to ensure the children in the Columbia Valley remain safe. If you are witnessed passing a school bus when the emergency lights are engaged you will receive a violation ticket of $368.