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Vandalism escalating in Campbell River neighbourhood, resident says

Neighbours want to see vandals ‘identified’
The most recent vandalism included a smashed window (at top), broken by a fence post. Photo courtesy Duncan Hurd

Even though they’ve only lived in the neighbourhood for just over a year, a Campbell River family has had their fair share of vandalism to their property.

They’re not the only ones either.

Duncan Hurd moved with his family to a home near Penfield School in January 2020. It was not long before Hurd started noticing things getting broken during the night. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that things escalated.

“We woke up around 2 a.m. because we heard a crash. We had a small perimeter fence… and someone had torn that down. I went outside, part of that fence was down, part of our larger fence had been smashed and then another part had been kicked in,” Hurd said. That was June 4.

Hurd called the police, who came and looked around the neighbourhood for any suspicious activity.

“Then the next Friday (June 11), likely the same group returned. They tore down more of our side fence and threw a six-foot board through a second-storey window in our house. It smashed that window, luckily nobody was hurt,” Hurd said.

“I have a four-year-old here, with myself and my wife,” he added. “Luckily nobody was in the kitchen when that smashed through, but then they ran as well.”

Hurd spoke to his neighbours, who confirmed that it wasn’t just that family that had been targeted by the vandals.

Last weekend, Campbell River RCMP put out a release asking the public for information on a theft from a yard on June 12. The release referred to the incident at the Hurd household, saying “there were also similar pointless instances of mischief overnight… where fence panels were kicked out of fences causing several hundred dollars of damage and may be related.”

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It is unknown if the two events are related.

However, Hurd says this is not a one-time event.

“Since we moved in, we’ve noticed it escalating. The first thing we noticed was a fence that’s no longer there, it had a little birdhouse from the previous owner. That had been smashed one night and thrown all over the place. It was clear that nobody bumped it, somebody took a kick or punch at it and smashed it.

“Shortly after that, a couple of weekends later we had people rip out plants from our front yard. They pulled out a huge daisy bush. We also had a tree and a planter from the previous owner too that needed to be transplanted. They took that and threw it into the middle of the street. They also dumped out some yard waste bags,” he said.

RCMP Const. Maury Tyre said the police believe the people doing this are teenagers, but that it is difficult to tell based on descriptions they’ve received.

“We are trying to work with the school liaison officer to try and identify these folks. Unfortunately we don’t get descriptions that are all that great at helping to identify, because of course it’s happening at night,” Tyre said.

He also added that anyone with video footage from the nights in question reach out to the RCMP.

Ideally, Hurd would like the identities of the people involved made public.

“It’s very much random, I don’t think we’re being targeted because of who we are or anything like that,” he said. “They decided that the fence wasn’t enough, a window, what’s next? Who’s coming through my door? That’s my major concern.”

The Mirror has reached out to the Campbell River RCMP for comment.

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