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Rocky Mountaineer appealing to ‘human decency’ for hopeful return of wheelchair lift

Hydraulic lift reportedly stolen from station platform on Aug. 11

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After the brazen theft of a wheelchair lift from the platform of a Whistler train station earlier this month, the Rocky Mountaineer is reaching out to the public in the hopes of seeing it returned.

The hydraulic mobile lift, valued at $8,500, was found missing the morning of Aug. 11 after it was left out on the platform overnight at the Nita Lake Lodge station. Station manager Margie Berthoud believes whoever took the 200-pound piece of equipment didn’t act alone, and likely had a truck to transport the lift from the scene.

Now, she’s turning to the community for help.

“Someone might’ve noticed the lift somewhere but didn’t understand what it was or didn’t put two and two together, so hopefully we can at least bring some awareness to the situation,” said Berthoud.

Police are investigating the incident and don’t have any suspects at the moment.

Now, staff at Rocky Mountaineer is forced to truck a lift from a North Vancouver station each morning before making the two-hour drive back in the afternoon. Next week, a lift will have to be transported all the way from Quesnel, B.C.

What’s more important, however, said Berthoud, is the impact the incident could have on the Rocky Mountaineer passenger experience.

“We had a lady recently who has fibromyalgia, so to take the stairs on the train was really difficult for her. If we hadn’t of had the lift here, she wouldn’t be able to visit the valley,” she explained, adding that she hopes to “appeal to someone’s sense of human decency” and see the lift returned.

“If it happened to appear in the station one morning, there’d be no questions asked.”

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Whistler RCMP Detachment at 604- 932-3044.

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