The Whistler RCMP was kept busy this week responding to reports of thefts of skis and snowboards from the mountain and Village, which are all too common at this time of year.
"We're in January-February, and that's prime time to have stuff stolen," said Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair.
On Feb. 1, black Salomon Enduro skis, 177 cm, with white Salomon Z12 bindings were stolen from outside of the Glacier Creek Lodge during the lunch break, valued at $900. Also taken were a pair of Salomon poles priced at $140.
On the same day, a pair of cream-coloured Salomon rental skis, 160 cm, were taken from outside the Roundhouse Lodge. One possible explanation is that they were confused with another set of rental skis, but the RCMP are investigating.
On Feb. 4, the RCMP received reports of two snowboards, a Gnu and a Libtech valued at $600 and $300 respectively, that were stolen outside a pub in the Upper Village between 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Feb. 3.
On Feb. 5, a pair of black and red Salomon skis were stolen outside of the Roundhouse between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., valued at $880.
On Feb. 6, the RCMP received reports that a Ride Society snowboard was taken from outside a hotel in the Benchlands. The board was secured with a cable lock at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 5 and when the owner returned at 8 p.m. the rack was empty.
On Feb. 7, a male called to report that his orange, 185 cm Salomon X Scream skis were taken from outside of the Roundhouse on Feb. 5.
While that may seem like a large number of thefts, according to Sgt. LeClair it's par for the course. For the Feb. 2 to 8 period, the RCMP answered 14 calls for Theft Under $5,000. That's the same number of thefts reported over the same period in 2010 and 2009, with 16 reports in that range in 2008.
Sgt. LeClair's advice is simple: "Split your skis (in the racks) and lock your snowboard," he said. "I've been skiing in Whistler for 25 years and I always split my skis and have never had them stolen. Generally, thieves are lazy - when you make yourself an easy target, chances are you'll become a target."
The RCMP also received a report related to the theft of a grey Rocky Mountain Pipeline bike valued at $1,000, which occurred on Fitzsimmons Road South. The bike was locked outside a residence on Feb. 1 and was gone the next morning.
Impaired drivers still getting caught
Although the number of impaired drivers has been dipping lately, there have been several people caught drinking and driving in recent weeks.
In the past week there were two drivers caught driving over the legal limit, plus one who was caught smoking marijuana.
At 12:25 a.m. on Feb. 5, a road safety check at Whistler Way and Highway 99 stopped a grey Toyota with California plates. The driver, a 31-year-old from Oregon, admitted to drinking earlier in the evening, and the failed the approved roadside test twice. He was issued an Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) that included a 90-day driving prohibition and 30-day vehicle impoundment.
At 3:10 a.m. that morning the police followed another vehicle turning onto the highway from Village Gate, and observed the vehicle crossing the centre line. They stopped the vehicle, and the driver - a 28-year-old male from New Westminster - failed the roadside test. He received a 90-day driving prohibition and 30-day impoundment.
That evening, the RCMP stopped a vehicle driving without lights that was turning onto the Highway from Creekside. The police detected the smell of freshly burnt marijuana, and the owner admitted to smoking before driving. A 42-year-old from Whistler was given a 24-hour driving prohibition.