CONTRIBUTION · 16th October 2010
Anyone Missing Their Cars?
Two burned out vehicles were discovered by members of the Terrace Model Airplane Club (TMAC) when they arrived at their club flying field this (Saturday) morning. One, a Geo Metro and the other, a compact size vehicle, possibly red, perhaps a Dodge Shadow or a vehicle of similar shape were found completely burned out next to the Club field which is behind a locked gate. However, the field is also accessible by several trails which are frequently used by nearby homeowners and their offspring when using four-wheelers and dirt bikes.
The local club has been flying at the former Skeena Sawmills hog fuel dump, just past Oscar Road on the Nisga'a Highway/Kalum Lake Road, for several years and have worked hard to create a grass runway and have built several tables and benches.
For the past four years TMAC members have been frustrated by repeated vandalism at the field. Previously, several tables proudly and meticulously built by 1958 founding member, Ron Lennon, were broken to pieces and burned in a bonfire at the site. Ron is no longer with us and, unfortunately, neither are his tables because some inconsiderate and destructive youth felt they had the right to burn them during a party. Several people believe they know who the youth are who are involved. If true, it's sad that these young people, well-known within the community, choose to destroy when they have the resources and abilities to create instead.
Several times each season the club has had to re-do the lawn they work so hard to maintain. In fact, several members have left the club out of frustration. Unfortunately, Ron knew before he passed away, about the destruction so thoughtlessly done to his creations.
Last night the youth chose to race around on the lawn, digging it up and creating ruts. Then they parked the two cars and set them on fire. When members arrived this morning they were greeted by engine blocks that were still warm and pools of aluminum on the ground from the melted radiators. The individuals, believed to live within four-wheeler driving distance (according to the tracks), were very lucky to not have been harmed. The fire burned hot enough to melt the windows and radiators, as well as to completely burn away the paint and interiors of the vehicles. We hope no-0ne was harmed when the steel belted radials exploded or when the fire reached the zenith of it's burn, possibly reaching temperatures between 1220 and 2000+ degrees Fahrenheit. A local firefighter, at the scene on Saturday morning, estimated the fire probably occurred during the early hours of Friday night/Saturday morning, perhaps between midnight and 2:00 a.m.
If you are the parents of the youth involved, we hope you will finally take responsibility for their behaviour. Perhaps you will even hold them responsible. To the youth involved: Stand-up and be adult enough to fix what you have wrecked. Be responsible enough to contact the club president and clean up your mess - which includes removing the charred up remains of the vehicles you burned.
We are parents ourselves and would prefer to brag about the youth of our community, as there are MANY worth bragging about. It is unfortunate that these privileged few choose to cause so much destruction and mayhem. We would rather have youth in the club, as valued members, than to be forced to contact the RCMP on a regular basis because some choose to behave in an irresponsible, thoughtless and destructive manner.
If you or someone you know is aware of this incident and has information, please contact the Terrace RCMP, myself, or Dennis Raymond (TMAC President).
View o f Burned Geo Metro
Rear view of Burned Geo Metro
Front View of Burned Vehicle #1
Burned Metro Interior View
Names beginning to come in...
Comment by Shelby Raymond on 22nd October 2010
Anonymous callers have a Terrace adult as as allegedly being the owner of one of the burned out cars. He was, according to the callers, apparently bragging around town about racing around the field and ripping it up, then parking the cars and setting them on fire with a group of friends (also in the process of being named). He is allegedly suspected of being involved in vandalism of previous years and has been repeatedly cited for driving his four-wheeler on the highway in the area. Once, a set o f four-wheeler tracks, after a vandalism spree at the field, were followed to his family's driveway. He was contacted by police at that time and told to pay restitution. Of course, the Club never heard from him. Is he innocent? Not according to the calls we are getting. I guess we'll see what happens now. The police have been informed of all information received, while respecting the anonymity of the callers. We still need the public's help - so if you know any facts regarding this or any previous party/vandalism incident at the Airplane Club Field - contact us and/or the local RCMP.
Comment by Eric Roy on 17th October 2010
Most cars will have multiple VIN locations. Usually there will be a VIN stamped into the firewall somewhere and/or the top inside of one of the front fenders.
Comment by James Ippel on 17th October 2010
Why is it that the parents of these morons will protect their spawn at every opportunity.
Here we have a group of people who have worked hard to build a place to fly their model airplanes, and then have scum on 4 wheelers desicrate their hard work. The parents are every bit as responsible as the perpetators of the crime, and should be held equally responsible when these punks are caught.
They should all receive heavy fines, and then as community service have to rebuild what they have destroyed.
Sorry, did I say that? With our judicial system today these people can go into court and claim they were traumitized in the past, and this was their way of acting out, therefore they should not be held responsible for their actions. And guess what??? there is a Judge out there that will agree with them, and suggest that maybe councelling will bring these people back on the right track.
A good backhand upside the head, and the removal of their four wheelers will have a much better result. If one does'nt work, give them multiple ones, repeatidly.
Comment by Shelby Raymond on 17th October 2010
The VIN had been removed from one vehicle and appeared to be burned off on the other. No ID inside doors either. It is unfortunate, because if they are stolen, we may never know. It is possible they belonged to the youth involved and/or were junkers on their family property that they took for a joy ride. It will be expensive to have the vehicles removed - THAT adds to the crime.
The GOOD thing is that there were no signs of bodies inside the vehicles. That was the first thing the Officer looked for.
Marianne, I tend to agree. We know that one of the youth believed to be involved in previous incidents was repeatedly fined by police for driving his four-wheeler on the highway.
One of the good points now is that we have a couple of club members who are also RCMP. There is always hope.
It is quite sad that some parents don't take responsibility for their offspring. Like the Officer at the scene said, "It's all about consequences." If there are no negative consequences for bad behaviour, swift, certain and severe, the negative behaviour will continue.
Comment by Steve Smyth on 17th October 2010
Good article-written from the heart. It looks like you know who did it based on tire tracks. What about serial numbers of the cars? Can you trace prior ownership that way?
Itll be interesting to see if these kids come forward, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
Maybe you should name names....
Comment by Marianne Brorup Weston on 17th October 2010
What is it with these young people and their four wheelers & dirt bikes? They seem to think they own the roads.
We have group of them in our neighbourhood (upper Thornhill) that terrorize everyone by racing up & down & around at all hours & dangerous speeds with no concern for safety, let alone noise. Their parents don't seem to care one way or the other. If one speaks to them, they just snicker.
It will surely come to tragedy someday soon.