Screws have also been used by the vandal to damage the tires of vehicles driven by staff at Ponderosa Lodge. (Yanina Yaretz photo)

Screws have also been used by the vandal to damage the tires of vehicles driven by staff at Ponderosa Lodge. (Yanina Yaretz photo)

Kamloops health-care workers hoping tire vandal gets nailed

Nails and screws have been placed under the tires of health-care workers’ vehicles

  • Feb. 2, 2021 5:00 p.m.

Kamloops This Week

Someone is puncturing the tires of vehicles of health-care workers downtown and the victims want the perpetrator nailed.

Staff at Ponderosa Lodge, at Columbia Street and Fourth Avenue, legally park their vehicles behind adjacent Ponderosa Place, a 55-plus residence.

Since last October, nails and screws have been placed under the tires of vehicles in the rear parking lot, leading many health-care workers to inadvertently puncture the rubber when driving away.

Yanina Yaretz, a care-aide at Ponderosa Lodge, said she has suffered three flat tires as a result of the culprit, noting many other co-workers have also had to shell out hundreds of dollars in repairs or new tires.

In addition to the nails and screws, someone has been leaving religious pamphlets on windshields, with this one titled, “Are you going to heaven?” (Yanina Yaretz photo)

In addition to the nails and screws, someone has been leaving religious pamphlets on windshields, with this one titled, “Are you going to heaven?” (Yanina Yaretz photo)

She said she assumed the first two flats were due to debris from the nearby Royal Inland Hospital patient-care tower construction site. But once it was suspected someone was deliberately targeting the vehicles, she knew otherwise.

Yaretz believes the vandal is now inserting screws into tires, rather than leaving screws and nails in plain view just behind the wheels.

In addition to the nails and screws, someone has been leaving religious pamphlets on windshields, with Yaretz receiving one titled, “Are you going to heaven?”

“I honestly don’t know why he is out to get us health-care workers,” she said. “It is frustrating.”

READ MORE: Another 429 COVID-19 cases in B.C. as health orders reviewed

READ MORE: No indications of community spread after COVID-19 variant detected in Interior: IH

A co-worker’s dash-cam footage shows a man walking between vehicles and at one point bending down next to a tire, but he is out of camera view. It appears he is focused on a tire, but Yaretz said police have told her there is not enough evidence from that video clip to determine guilt.

Yaretz said there is no security patrolling the area, though staff have been offered rides to and from their vehicles. She said staff have asked for cameras to be installed in the area, but so far there has been no commitment from the employer.

According to the Kamloops RCMP Const. Crystal Evelyn, the file remains open and officially involves three separate incidents around Ponderosa Place in which nails were placed behind a vehicle’s tires, including one that yielded video surveillance of a suspect.

Screws have also been used by the vandal to damage the tires of vehicles driven by staff at Ponderosa Lodge. (Yanina Yaretz photo)

Screws have also been used by the vandal to damage the tires of vehicles driven by staff at Ponderosa Lodge. (Yanina Yaretz photo)

Police received the first report on Oct. 19 of last year, which eventually led to the discovery of surveillance footage showing a man in dark clothing with a white stripe, walking with a limp, approaching vehicles.

In November, another report involving nails under parked vehicle tires was received from the area and police questioned two people sitting nearby, but both denied any involvement or knowledge of an offence. The most recent incident was reported in late January and has been added to the original investigation.

Evelyn said police are still working on identifying the man seen in the footage.

“If the person who reported the incident would like to further discuss details of the investigation, they are welcome to contact Kamloops RCMP and reference their file number,” she told KTW.

Anyone who has information on the file, or who may have been a victim and has not yet reported it, contact the Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3193.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame Tire has offered to fix, free of charge, any tires damaged by the culprit. Notre Dame Tire is at 797 Notre Dame Dr. The company can be reached by phone at 250-377-8473.

CoronavirusHealthcare

Just Posted

A rockfall closed Finlayson Arm Road and West Shore Parkway on Friday (March 5) afternoon. (Twitter/BC Transportation)
UPDATED: Malahat reopens following rockfall

Section of Trans-Canada Highway was scheduled for intermittent closures today for rock scaling work

The Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tsartlip First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA revealed COVID-19 outbreak

Chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA Adam Olsen apologizes

A man holds a picture of Chantel Moore during a healing gathering at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘Police have killed more Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members than COVID’

First Nation demands transparency in probe into Tofino RCMP shooting of Julian Jones

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of deceased Hells Angels prospect from Sooke to be divided between wife and secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A Port Alberni RCMP car blocks access to Anderson Avenue at Burde Street. (RCMP PHOTO)
Replica firearm prompts police incident in Port Alberni

RCMP had blocked off a neighbourhood while searching for ‘man with a gun’

A Victoria resident was scammed out of $1,700 after a fraudster impersonated a police officer and convinced the victim to pay a non-existent fine in Bitcoin. (Unsplash)
Fraudster impersonates Victoria police officer, steals $1,700 in Bitcoin

Phone call showed up as VicPD’s non-emergency line

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Walkers ascend Mount Douglas Park on Sunday, Feb. 7. Visits to Saanich Parks are up 46 per cent compared to pre-pandemic statistics this time last year. (Darrell Wick Photo)
Oak Bay, Saanich parks peak in popularity during pandemic

Oak Bay spent an extra $5,000 on park toilet paper in 2020

On Feb. 27, a construction vehicle remained on the site of the former encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue as part a clean-up effort. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Encampment between Pat Bay Highway, McKenzie Avenue cleared, all residents relocated

Efforts to disband encampment resumed after January fire

Holly the stuffed Rottweiler has been missing from the front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb. 24. (Submitted photo)
Holly the stuffed Rottweiler is missing from Duncan shop

Toy dog missing from front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb.24

Most Read