Truck through ice near Tretheway recovered
Columbia Valley RCMP Report
By Cpl. B.A. Ayers (Brent)
On December 20, at 11:17 p.m., Columbia Valley RCMP was dispatched to a vehicle that went through the ice on Lake Windermere near Tretheway Road in Windermere. Members were busy with priority files and asked that Windermere Fire Rescue attend. It was later gleaned from the driver of the vehicle that they had been driving on the ice when his truck went through. In this incident the truck only needed a tow truck as it had only fallen through in about a foot of water and no one was stuck in the vehicle. The file was not a police matter.
Hit and run at the Red Apple
On December 18, at 2 p.m. RCMP was dispatched to a Motor Vehicle 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 of 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 and advised that they had left the scene because they did not have a driver’s licence and was 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 had noted that the male had warrants outstanding out of Alberta and then requested another member to attend to have a look at the driver as a result of recent shoplifting footage from a local store – in that they felt the male was a suspect.
Cpl. Ayers attended and asked the subject’s name, looked at his hands, stated “yes, arrest him.” For those of of an older generation who recall the original Hawaii 5-O series… “Book em Dano.”
Within an hour Christmas packages were opened under a tree and several stolen items were seized as a result of two separate shoplifting incidents. Charges are pending; all as a result of the excellent work done by the initiating police officer!
Obstructed plate check leads to 90-day prohibition
On December 20 police noted a Mazda pickup truck pull out from the front of the cold beer and wine store on 13th Street and turn South on 7th Avenue; the vehicle licence plate was obstructed. The vehicle was pulled over and operator spoken with. The operator 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 operator’s licence was seized and they were issued a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition and the vehicle was impounded for 30 days.
Possible plane crash east of Athalmer reported and investigated
On December 21, at approximately 4:28 p.m., a complainant reported a possible airplane crash on the eastern mountain range in the Shuswap Drainage, Athalmer. It was reported 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 Columbia Valley Search and Rescue and appreciation must be noted that Bighorn did this at their own cost out of common concern for their fellow aviators.
Search and Rescue was notified of the potential search. One member made immediate face-to-face contact with the complainant as another member was requested by the helicopter pilot to assist him in an immediate fly over of the potential area as, guided by the complainant in the helicopter without locating any signs of an airplane crash.
JRCC was contacted and they did not receive any Emergency Locator Transmissions from any downed aircraft. Invermere airport reported the only two aircraft in the area had safely landed, one in Invermere and another in Cranbrook and were accounted for as well as no air emergency notifications. Fairmont Airport contacted without any notification of downed aircraft.
Messages sent to Red Deer OCC and Calgary OCC to notify airports to contact them if any overdue aircraft reported. As of December 22, no further reports had been received of any overdue nor downed aircraft.
Bar close watch ends assault
On December 21, RCMP was parked across from Buds Bar on 13th Street in Invermere in a marked police vehicle watching patrons after bar close. 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.
Hit and run at Canadian Tire
On December 22, at approximately 3 p.m., a hit and run was reported involving the complainant’s 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier, while parked in the Canadian Tire Parking lot in Invermere. An unknown vehicle struck the front end and appears 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.
Phone scam reported
On December 24, a complainant attended the detachment to report a phone scam that they had fallen 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 as it was known that he was speaking with the police. They had stated earlier that the Money Gram did not go through so money had to be sent again 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 that there are very limited avenues of investigation.
Alberta truck window shot by BB
On December 28, at 10:57 a.m., RCMP was 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 in Canal Flats with this incident please contact the Columbia Valley RCMP.
In total there were 97 calls for service since December 17.
There were several other noteworthy files; however, Cpl. Brent Ayers has been told in the recent past that his writing style is too long winded at best, and I do not wish to compete, set precedence, or interfere with the tales told by Marko!
Life happens; visiting couple rescued up the Bruce
My background, in a nutshell, is primarily small town or rural / remote, 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 until 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, my father’s Dad, 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. Yup may suggest a clue to my hobbies.
Basically I am what I am.
So on December 27, at around 4:30 p.m., Columbia Valley RCMP received a 911 call that a couple was stranded on a Forest Service Road west of Invermere.
They had attempted to locate Panorama Mountain Village using their GPS. However, they became lost, their vehicle was stuck and they were out of cell phone range, but they had half a tank of fuel. They had passed a lake called Wilmer Lake’ they were requesting police assistance.
I was called at home prior to my estimated start of shift 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 ideas 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 have a good idea already as unbelievable as it sounds. The member offered to attend the area as wished to learn some of the backcountry routes.
As all Canadians realize, the Federal Government is keeping close tabs on the taxpayer’s money. And the RCMP has taken their fiscal responsibility to heart all the way down the line. We are all aware of this, but life happens. We found out last week that a rear differential has blown up in the four-by-four police truck. We only have a Tahoe in four-wheel drive!
The weather had warmed, there was a calling for snow and I was fully aware that a decision had to be made.
It is not the RCMP’s responsibility, on one hand, to help people who are stuck on or off a road, but… The caller could no longer be reached, were reported as lost and until anything was confirmed, who was I to suggest that we would not attend? No brainer decision, really. That being stated, I have good life experience and usually try and keep the upper hand -survival skills! I told the police officer that she needs to get the Tahoe first off 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 better under these circumstances.
As Cst. Peggy Bell arrived at my house ready to go with me, it was easily noted by the radio that at 6 p.m. there were still day shift members on who needed help at the hospital and so I said I would go alone and check out the area up the Bruce Forest Service Road by myself in uniform.
As I headed off up the Bruce on a wonderful wintery warming night, it started snowing. I always tell myself, “I can’t do anything if I never get there myself.” Keeps the eagerness and ‘young bull’ tendencies in check. I am closer to 50 then 40 now so still have to remind myself of this on occasion!
Getting worried around the 15 km marker as it was snowing pretty good and nothing to indicate fresh vehicle tracks. The Bruce has logging activity; however, getting narrower, steeper in climb, and I am driving a ‘96 crew cab long box with over 360,000 kms. Music is on low so feeling pretty coolio though.
All of a sudden at the 19 km area, human foot tracks, two sets, walked down together and obviously back up the mountain. That was a good sign, because I was starting to doubt.
At km 21 / 22 off road left into the short ditch against the side of the mountain was a 2012 Hyundai rear wheel, sport coupe. 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 rolls down his window and suspiciously looks at me as one of the characters from the movie Deliverance. He tells me that he has called the police already. I turn on the dome light to the truck in hopes he will see my uniform, and state, “I know, I am the police.”
It is believed that the couple was 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 know full well that the RCMP ‘do not’ condone the use of a winch et al to help ‘people in need.’ I am not trained! I can be sued, the RCMP can be sued! You get the picture! But… I know from experience that in this particular spot that only a chained wrecker could make it, but then the turn around would have been impossible. The male asked if I could help get him out.
After a 38-point turn around in my truck, a successful altered winching angle and easy step-by-step instructions through an interpreter, as a team, we quickly had their vehicle facing down hill. I followed the budding rally driver out of 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 what if nobody had done anything? On the lighter note, makes for a funny story, and the moral is don’t rely totally on technology! Still makes me laugh, but laughing with, not at!