Vanderhoof residents gather community support for theft concerns

A citizen group is looking to gather community support online for positive change against a recent theft spike in Vanderhoof.

A citizen group established a Facebook page on Oct. 17 to gather community support online against a recent theft spike in Vanderhoof.

A citizen group established a Facebook page on Oct. 17 to gather community support online against a recent theft spike in Vanderhoof.

A citizen group is looking to gather community support online for positive change against a recent theft spike in Vanderhoof.

Establishing “Vanderhoof Theft has to STOP” Facebook page on Oct. 17, Lana Cooper Evenson published an open letter to Vanderhoof’s mayor regarding concerns on not only thefts, but also residents who may take matters into their own hands.

“I have been asked to represent many Vanderhoof citizens, that are feeling frustrated due to all the theft occurring in town,” she states. “I appreciate that you and your council members fully support all police/crime watcher/citizen efforts. We are asking that all members of the community work together to find a positive solution.

“There is a fear of ‘vigilante’ groups forming and the risk of these unregulated actions may cause more harm to the community. Please support the Facebook page ‘Vanderhoof Theft has to STOP’ and know that this group is only an advocacy group for positive change.”

The page attracted over 100 likes within several days, sharing theft reports from citizens as well as advice from the RCMP’s official website.

Mayor Gerry Thiessen says a community meeting regarding citizen concerns on thefts is in the works.

“Are we perfect? No,” Thiessen said. “We need to be vigilant, keeping doors locked.

“We have pockets of concern, and it appears to be mostly from highway traffic going through the community.”

He has been engaged with the local police force throughout the summer to understand the thefts.

“Going through the numbers, it’s always been brought back to us that it’s a very safe community,” Thiessen said.

Page organizers also invited the RCMP to support the page, expressing that some citizens felt inadequate police response and presence in the community, as well as a need for a larger police force.

While the Facebook page is a proactive action for the community to share information online and spread the word, citizens need to contact the RCMP for timely response, said Sgt. Svend Nielsen, Vanderhoof’s detachment commander.

“A phone call to us first when it happens, rather than someone tell us that they’ve heard on Facebook hours later,” Nielsen said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have resources to watch Facebook all the time.”

RCMP statistics confirmed that the number of thefts in Vanderhoof is high this summer compared to last year, and case load per RCMP member is up.

“We understand that people are upset or feeling unsafe,” said Sgt. Svend Nielsen, Vanderhoof’s detachment commander. “That’s why in the summer we worked extended hours and have members doing additional patrols.”

Number of charges increased by over 70 per cent this year, due to the local detachment’s priority offender program to target citizens who were causing most crimes in town.

“We give the members credit for the great work they’re doing,” he said.

The RCMP are in touch with page organizers to address concerns.


Just Posted

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read