Chilliwack city officials announced plans Friday to counter the recent rash of tire slashing incidents that appear to be targeting U.S. visitors.
The plans include beefing up patrols by Citizen On Patrol volunteers in the affected areas and a $3,000 reward put up by Chilliwack businesses and the Fraser Salmon Society for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the vandalism
“We all feel terrible that these visitors had their property and stays in our city ruined by one thoughtless individual,” Mayor Sharon Gaetz said in a statement announcing the plans.
“Our entire community is on high alert and watch for suspicious behaviour,” she said.
City and tourism officials met with police, the salmon society, area businesses and provincial and regional government agents Friday morning following the Thanksgiving weekend incidents which garnered headlines across Canada and drew angry threats by U.S. anglers never to return to Chilliwack.
Nine incidents of tire slashing along the Vedder River near the Keith Wilson Bridge were reported to police – eight of those involving U.S. vehicles – but more were apparently not reported by American anglers who had to pay towing charges on top of accommodation and other costs when they had to wait for tires to be delivered that fit their vehicles.
Tourism Chilliwack executive director Brian Coombes said the reward offered by the fishing community is meant to show “that one individual’s actions do not reflect the majority.”
“We understand this situation has been very upsetting and we want people whose property has been vandalized to know that the citizens of Chilliwack do not take this lightly,” he said.
Anyone with information about the vandalism to American vehicles is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or the Chilliwack RCMP’s non-emergency line at 604-792-4611.
Poaching and polluting incidents can be reported to the provincial RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.