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The year in policing

A look back at 2012

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Whistler is for the most part a peaceful town. We've had just one recorded murder in something like 40 years, and violent crime is thankfully rare.

Property crime and the theft of skis, bikes, electronics and rent money through Craigslist scams are a major issue for police, as are crimes related to drug and alcohol — the result of such a young population and the fact that a lot of people come to Whistler to party. There are missing persons' stories, some of which turn tragic.

Police in Whistler can answer over 100 calls per week and in busier weeks police will open 150 files covering everything from accidental 911 calls to traffic tickets. The week surrounding New Year's 2012 the RCMP opened 187 files.

Here's a list of the stories we thought were most interesting from 2012, including stories that gained attention from outside the community.

Gang members targeted in motorhome explosion

A pair of gang members known to police were the victims of a bomb attempt on Jan. 16 as they slept in their motorhome in the Callaghan Valley. They had been in the area for a week to snowmobile when an explosion rocked their RV just before midnight.

At first they thought that a propane tank had exploded, but it soon became apparent that the explosion occurred outside the vehicle. The RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit and Forensic Identification Section attended.

One of the males sustained minor injuries to one hand but did not seek medical attention.

The bomber is still at large, but one of the targeted men, 47-year-old Thomas Gisby, was shot to death at a Starbucks in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico on April 30 where he was reportedly hiding out after the bombing. Gisby had been associated with the Dhak group, and was with an associate of a Hell's Angels member in Mexico who was also wounded in the attack.

Whistler Blackcomb part of graffiti crime spree

After discovering some graffiti etched into the glass of a Peak 2 Peak gondola cabin on Jan. 19, Whistler Blackcomb offered a reward of a season's pass to anyone who could identify the vandals responsible. The cost of replacing the glass was estimated at $10,000.

By the end of the next week it was clear that the suspects were likely on a ski trip, with similar reports of graffiti reported in Squamish, at Seymour Mountain and at resorts in Rossland and Nelson. One of the tags reads "Bord" or possibly "Burd."

Limo driver killed in head-on

The death of limo driver Shafiqur Rahman in a head-on collision with a 19-year-old Calgary man driving a pickup truck on Jan. 28 shocked the community, especially as it was discovered that the man — identified as Jacob Mitzimberg — was drinking and may have been on LSD when he crossed the centre line to strike Rahman head-on. Making matters even worse, Mitzimberg reportedly told police after the accident that there were explosives in his truck, something that complicated the initial investigation and extended the highway closure to 10 hours.

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