Cpl. Brent Ayers of the Columbia Valley RCMP

Cpl. Brent Ayers of the Columbia Valley RCMP

Submitted by Cpl. Brent Ayers

Columbia Valley RCMP

On December 18th at 2 p.m., Columbia Valley RCMP were dispatched to a hit and run that occurred at the Red Apple Store in Invermere. The complainant reported that their vehicle was parked in the west parking lot of the Red Apple when it was hit by a Pontiac Sunfire. Two witnesses reported seeing the incident and provided a location for the vehicle that drove off. The police officer conducted the investigation and determined who had been driving the suspect vehicle. The subject was located and took full responsibility, explaining they had left the scene because they did not have a drivers licence and that they were scared. Pictures were taken of the vehicles and the suspect was issued a Violation Ticket for No Drivers Licence and Fail to Remain at the Scene of Accident.

As a result of the above incident, the investigating officer discovered that the male had Alberta warrants outstanding. He requested another member attend to look at the driver because of recent shoplifting footage from a local store, which he suspected the male was in. Cpl. Ayers attended, asked the subjects name, looked at their hands, and stated arrest him. For those people of an older generation who recall the original Hawaii 5-O series, thats equivalent to book him, Dano.

Within an hour, Christmas packages from under a tree were opened and several stolen items were seized, the result of two separate shoplifting incidents. Charges are pending, all as a result of the excellent work done by the initiating police officer!

On December 20th at 11:17 p.m., RCMP were dispatched to a vehicle that broke through the lake ice near Tretheway Road in Windermere. Members were busy with priority files and asked the Windermere Fire Department to attend. Firefighters learned the driver of the vehicle had been driving on the ice when his truck went through. The truck only needed a tow out as it had fallen through just a foot of water and no one was in the vehicle. The file is not considered a police matter.

On December 20th, police noted a Mazda pickup trucks licence plate was obstructed as the truck pulled out from in front of the cold beer and wine store on the corner of 13th Street and 7th Avenue. The vehicle was pulled over and the driver was spoken with. The driver was slurring their words and admitted to consuming alcohol. An Alcohol Screening Device

demand was read and the operator provided two samples of breath into two separate ASDs. Both results were a fail. The operators licence was seized and they were issued a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition. The vehicle was impounded for 30 days.

On December 21st at 4:28 p.m., a complainant reported a possible airplane crash on the eastern mountain range in the Shuswap Drainage east of Athalmer. It was reported that a small engine plane flew directly into the side of the mountain. Bighorn Helicopters was readily available, but due to legal light limits, had to take off right away without approval from Search and Rescue. Appreciation must be noted that Bighorn did this at their own cost out of concern for their fellow aviators. Search and Rescue was notified of the potential search.

One member spoke directly to the person who had called in the crash as another member was requested by the helicopter pilot to assist him in an immediate flyover of the potential crash site. No signs of an airplane crash were found. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre was contacted; they hadnt received any Emergency Locator Transmissions from any downed aircraft. Invermere airport reported that the only two aircraft in the area had safely landed one in Invermere and one in Cranbrook and were accounted. No air emergency notifications had been received. The Fairmont Hot Springs Airport was contacted and relayed they had no notification of downed aircraft. Messages were sent to the Red Deer and Calgary Operational Communications Centres to notify airports to contact them if any overdue aircraft were reported. As of December 22nd, 2013, no further reports had been received of any

overdue nor downed aircraft.

On December 21st, RCMP were parked across from Buds Bar on 13th Street in Invermere in a marked police vehicle watching patrons after the bar closed. Three men were talking 10 feet from the front of the police vehicle when a male known to police approached one of the males and started pushing him and yelling. This male was arrested for assault and for being intoxicated in a public place. The male was lodged in cells and released in the morning when sober with a Violation Ticket.

On December 22nd at approximately 3 p.m., a hit and run was reported involving the complainants 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier while parked in the Canadian Tire Parking lot in Invermere. An unknown vehicle struck the front end and appeared to have driven up on the hood, damaging the bumper, hood, radiator, and windshield. There were no witnesses; however, there is video surveillance footage being compiled. There were no paint markings left behind on the vehicle nor any other broken pieces from the offending vehicle. If anyone has any information, please contact the Columbia Valley RCMP.

On December 24th, a complainant attended the detachment to report a phone scam that they had fell victim to. The complainant received a phone call from an unknown caller stating that their nephew was injured in an accident in the Dominican Republic and required money to be forwarded via a Money Gram. Just under $3,000 was forwarded via the Canada Post office to the Dominican to a supposed Rony De Los Santos.

Columbia Valley RCMP attempted to call the number back, however the phone did not receive calls and is most likely a pay as you go. The unknown suspect called the complainant while they were at the RCMP Detachment. The RCMP member answered and spoke with an unknown male who immediately hung up once he realized he was speaking with the police. They had stated earlier that the Money Gram did not go through, so money had to be re-sent through Western Union.

The complainant never did, as they had run into their nephew here in Invermere, verifying the fraud. The RCMP wish to advise there are very limited avenues of investigation in cases like these.

On December 28th at 10:57 a.m., RCMP were dispatched to a mischief to vehicle complaint at Richardson Crescent in Canal Flats. The complainant stated that the back window of their truck had been shot by a BB gun.

The vehicle is a Dodge Dakota with Alberta plates. If anyone has any information about this incident, please contact the Columbia Valley RCMP.

Rural road rescue

My background, in a nutshell, is primarily in small town, rural, and First Nations policing. Closing in on 24 years service, Invermere is my sixth posting. I followed the career choice of my father, who was a Mountie from 1959 to 1995. I have lived right across Canada. I know a good place when I see one, and my wife and I are now full-time residents of Wilmer.

My grandfather was a bootlegger in the 1920s and 1930s after his term in the First World War. My two uncles were stock car racers in the late 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. This may suggest a clue as to my


So, on December 27th at around 4:30 p.m.,

Columbia Valley RCMP received a 911 call that a husband and wife were stranded on a Forest Service Road west of Invermere. They had attempted to locate Panorama Mountain Village using their GPS,

however, they were lost, their vehicle was stuck, and they were out of cell phone range, but they had half a tank of fuel. They had passed Wilmer Lake, and were requesting police assistance.

I was called at home prior to my estimated shift start at 7 p.m. I can honestly say that the night shifts are not as easy for me as they once were! The early night shift member who was diligently on time was calling me at about 5:45 p.m. to ask me if I had any idea about where this might be, as the day shift members were still at a quad accident on Lake Windermere, and this file was in the queue. I said that I did. The member offered to accompany me tp the area as he wished to learn some of the backcountry routes.

As all Canadians realize, the federal government is keeping close tabs on taxpayer dollars, and the RCMP has taken its fiscal responsibility to heart all the way down the line. We are all aware of this, but life


We found out last week that the rear differential had blown on the four-by-four police truck, leaving only a Chevy Tahoe in four-wheel drive!

The weather had warmed; snow was predicted and I was fully aware that a decision had to be made.

It is not the RCMPs responsibility to help people who are stuck on or off a road, but the caller could no longer be reached, and was reported as lost.

Until anything was confirmed, who was I to suggest that we would not attend. It was a no brainer, really. That being stated, I have good life experience and usually try to keep the upper hand. I told the police officer that she needed to get the Tahoe first, and that a portable radio would help me as well, just in case. I was not on call, so did not have a police vehicle or radio at home. I was only going to take my personal truck, as I actually trusted it more under these circumstances.

As I headed up the Bruce Forest Service Road on a wonderful, warm wintery night, it started snowing. I always tell myself, I cant do anything if I never get there myself,; this keeps the eagerness and young bull tendencies in check. I am closer to 50 than 40 now, so still have to remind myself of this on occasion!

I began getting worried around the 15 kilometre mark, as it was snowing pretty good and there was nothing to indicate fresh vehicle tracks. The Bruce has logging activity; however, it was getting narrower and steeper, and I was driving a 1996 Crew Cab long box with over 360,000 kilometres.

All of a sudden, at the 19-kilometre mark, human foot prints appeared: two sets, walking down together and obviously back up the mountain. That was a good sign.

At kilometre 21 or 22, off to the left side of the road in the short ditch was a 2012 Hyundai rear wheel drive sport coupe. Its funny what one sees in the bush. The car was running and I could see the modern indigo dash lights through the rear window. The male passenger rolled down his window and suspiciously looked at me like one of the characters from the movie Deliverance. He told me that he had already called the police. I turned on the trucks dome light in the hopes he would see my uniform, and said, I know, I am the police.

It is believed that the couple were Korean and I know that the female passenger did not speak English, but she did not need to. They were elated to say the least!

I had come prepared and knew fully well that the RCMP does not condone the use of a winch to help people in need. I am not trained I and the RCMP can be sued! But I know from experience that in this particular spot, only a chained wrecker could make it, but then the turn around would have been impossible.

After a 38-point turn around in my truck, a successful altered winching angle and easy step-by-step instructions through an interpreter, we quickly had their vehicle facing down hill. I followed the budding rally driver out on the Bruce and as we both stopped by the brightest Christmas house in Wilmer to get some details for the police file, it was extremely easy to tell that they were relieved and happy to be on their way to Panorama again. It was 7:30 p.m. by now!

I know it does not take a police officer to help someone in need; I am confident anybody would have done the same.

My point is this: what if nobody had done anything? On the lighter note, it makes for a funny story, and the moral is: dont rely totally on technology!