At 5:12 a.m. on July 1 the Whistler RCMP responded to an alarm at an ATM machine in a restaurant in the Upper Village. When they arrived they discovered that the ATM had been broken into and that an undisclosed amount of cash had been taken.
Forensic investigators were called in and the investigation suggested that the thief may have been driving a white panel van.
On July 2 at 3:55 a.m., an off-duty officer observed a van that met the description of the suspect's vehicle, and called it in. When other officers caught up with the southbound vehicle at Function Junction, the van turned north again and drove away at a high rate of speed. He ran a taxi off the road at one point, which is when the RCMP left the chase in order to protect public safety.
The RCMP found the van a short time later in Nordic and discovered the driver nearby. Inside the van, which was itself stolen and had stolen plates, they found a large amount of cash, that may be related to the ATM theft. The investigation is still ongoing. A 36-year-old Langley man is facing two counts of Possession of Stolen Property, one over $5,000 and another under $5,000.
RCMP on lookout for stolen truck
A family visiting from California reported the theft of a 2000 Ford F250 from outside their accommodation in the Benchlands area. They discovered the theft at 6:45 a.m. and called the police, who were still searching for the vehicle at press time. It was white in colour with two thick and two thin blue racing stripes, a diamond-finished tool box and an Ariat Trailer hitch. The plate number is 8H12042.
If you see the vehicle contact the RCMP at 604-932-3044.
"It's unfortunate for people visiting our community to be victims of an auto theft, and the family were very upset - there were a lot of logistical questions they need to answer, like how they were going to get home," said Sergeant Shawn LeMay of the Whistler RCMP. "It's a bad situation for anybody to have their vehicle taken, but there are far more challenges than a local (car theft victim) would experience."
That wasn't the only vehicle-related theft. Three vehicle break-ins were reported on the upper Benchlands on the evening of July 2, all involving unlocked cars. One vehicle at Blackcomb Green was missing two laptops, a cell phone and a U.S. passport.
There were two break-ins at Treeline that may be related, where the thief gained entry by smashing a garage door. In the first instance a truck was broken into and tools were taken. In the second a vehicle was rummaged through, but nothing appears to have been stolen.
Impaired driving continues
The long weekend turned up three more impaired drivers, starting with a 37-year-old male Whistler resident who was pulled over on Lorimer Road at 1:30 a.m. on July 1. The driver showed signs of intoxication and was given a roadside test, which he failed. At the detachment he provided two samples of .110 and .120 per cent blood alcohol content.
The driver was released with a 90-day driving prohibition and charged with impaired driving and driving over 0.08.
The next two drivers were apprehended on Saturday afternoon. On July 3 at 5 p.m. the RCMP received a complaint of an erratic driver heading northbound on Highway 99. The driver turned onto Village Gate Boulevard where he was stopped by the police.
The driver, a 28-year-old male from New Jersey, subsequently provided samples of .150 at the detachment.
In the early hours of Saturday, July 3 the RCMP stopped a driver departing from the taxi loop onto Village Gate.
The driver was an international visitor who was transporting passengers and operating the vehicle without a valid drivers' licence. The 24-year-old male from Vermont refused to provide breath samples, which triggers an automatic impaired driving charge.
Crack down on Village Stroll cyclists, skateboarders
After receiving a number of complaints from the public the Whistler RCMP are going to be cracking down on cyclists and skateboarders on Village Stroll. They are asking people to obey a bylaw that makes it illegal to "ride, propel or coast" bikes and skateboard through the village.
The offence carries a $100 fine and in some cases the RCMP will impound the offender's bike or board for another $50 fee.
Sgt. Shawn LeMay says the number of people ignoring the signs posted throughout the village is "disappointingly high."
"It's a lot of people who know better," he said. "They're on their boards and bikes and they see us and then they get off. They only seem to respect the bylaw when there are police officers around."
RCMP concerned by slo-pitch drinking
The Whistler RCMP are cautioning Whistler slo-pitch teams to leave the beer at home. They will be conducting patrols at games through the summer. The RCMP have already stopped several impaired drivers and have issued numerous 24-hour suspensions to players leaving the fields at Spruce Grove. RCMP are now presenting players with $100 tickets for open liquor in the dugouts and bleacher areas.
There is no liquor licencing in place for the ball diamonds, although special occasion licences are sometimes approved for tournaments and other events hosted at the ball fields.