The night the lights went out in Trail

Someone vandalized the decorative lights on the Trail bridge over the August long weekend.

Someone vandalized the lights on the Trail bridge; repairs will hit taxpayers' pocketbooks.

By all accounts from those in the know, the case is just plain strange, some even say “weird.”

Sometime over the August long weekend, most likely Friday and Saturday night, a person with a knowledge of electricity and tools for the crime, vandalized the decorative lights on the Victoria Street Bridge.

And not vandalized such as taking a hammer and smashing at random, this was damage done with a purpose.

The culprit opened 16 junction boxes and methodically removed components to first shut off the east-side lights then on Saturday, all the lights.

“What (the person) did on the downstream side was he took the covers off and stripped out the relays,” explained city engineer Warren Proulx. “That would have involved stripping the wires and pulling the device out. Then he took the relays out, and kept the covers and the relays.”

Decorative light

On the downstream side the person also dismantled the covers on the white lights and stole the covers as well as the lights.

“We actually have covers over the top of the lights which were put there for vandalism reasons,” says Proulx. “But what this essentially did was on the downstream side, it disconnected the circuit because the white lights and decorative lights have to work together.”

Calls about the lights being out started coming into Proulx’s work phone on Saturday night.

He drove over the bridge but at that point, didn’t know why one side of the bridge was in the dark.

“The same culprit must have returned Saturday evening and stripped out just the relays on the upstream side, he took the covers off and never put them back on but what was really surprising and weird the wires were not snipped, they were actually taken off what’s called a marrette (twist-on connector),” he added. “It has to be someone with electrical knowledge because he took the marrette off, stripped the device out and put the marrette back on again so people couldn’t get electrocuted. And as soon as the circuit was cut, everything went.”

Strange yes and to date, no motive is known.

Police have identified a suspect who is known to the force, but they have insufficient evidence to charge the man.

“Likely this is the person responsible,” RCMP Cpl. Darryl Orr told the Trail Times. “But we don’t believe we have the evidence to support a prosecution at this time, unfortunately. This person is very well known to the police, the video surveillance was reviewed but was not at the right angle to capture the incident,” he added. “Hopefully with the city looking forward maybe some further proactive measures might have to be taken to ensure the property is protected. We certainly don’t want to continue to see this happen, this is one of the nicest features in the city, and it is concerning to us.”

And soon it will be concerning to Trail taxpayers, all of whom are on the hook for the repairs.

At this time respective costs are unknown, but will include the price of new lights and replacement of electrical components.

“People phoned me and emailed me when this damage was done,” said Proulx. “So it is important to get the word out, because there are a lot of eyes out there.”

After almost 40 years of working for the city, Proulx has a level of experience and a level head when dealing with defacement and destruction of Trail property.

“Working everyday for a municipality there is vandalism, (whether it’s) sprinkler heads, parking meters, people cutting down trees, graffiti or these lights. It doesn’t deter me from putting on new sprinkler heads, planting another tree or fixing the lights it’s the cost of doing business and unfortunately it comes at the expense of taxpayers, because vandalism is like stealing.”

 

Just Posted

Columbia Basin Trust offering business accelerator program

Trust seeking motivated companies for customized support and mentorship program

Trail military exercises provide crucial training

Exercise Sapper Crucible: ‘The nuts and bolts of what a soldier is’

VIDEO: SPCA ushers in new era with Castlegar facility

$2.69-million project had ribbon cutting on Friday

Thrums, Riondel, and Slocan, revisited

Place Names: Scottish author delighted by Thrums name origin

Last stand for Silver City summer

Fall officially arrives in Trail at 6:54 p.m. on Saturday

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

Most Read