Screws have also been used by the vandal to damage the tires of vehicles driven by staff at Ponderosa Lodge. (Yanina Yaretz photo)

Screws have also been used by the vandal to damage the tires of vehicles driven by staff at Ponderosa Lodge. (Yanina Yaretz photo)

Kamloops health-care workers hoping tire vandal gets nailed

Nails and screws have been placed under the tires of health-care workers’ vehicles

  • Feb. 2, 2021 5:00 p.m.

Kamloops This Week

Someone is puncturing the tires of vehicles of health-care workers downtown and the victims want the perpetrator nailed.

Staff at Ponderosa Lodge, at Columbia Street and Fourth Avenue, legally park their vehicles behind adjacent Ponderosa Place, a 55-plus residence.

Since last October, nails and screws have been placed under the tires of vehicles in the rear parking lot, leading many health-care workers to inadvertently puncture the rubber when driving away.

Yanina Yaretz, a care-aide at Ponderosa Lodge, said she has suffered three flat tires as a result of the culprit, noting many other co-workers have also had to shell out hundreds of dollars in repairs or new tires.

In addition to the nails and screws, someone has been leaving religious pamphlets on windshields, with this one titled, “Are you going to heaven?” (Yanina Yaretz photo)

In addition to the nails and screws, someone has been leaving religious pamphlets on windshields, with this one titled, “Are you going to heaven?” (Yanina Yaretz photo)

She said she assumed the first two flats were due to debris from the nearby Royal Inland Hospital patient-care tower construction site. But once it was suspected someone was deliberately targeting the vehicles, she knew otherwise.

Yaretz believes the vandal is now inserting screws into tires, rather than leaving screws and nails in plain view just behind the wheels.

In addition to the nails and screws, someone has been leaving religious pamphlets on windshields, with Yaretz receiving one titled, “Are you going to heaven?”

“I honestly don’t know why he is out to get us health-care workers,” she said. “It is frustrating.”

READ MORE: Another 429 COVID-19 cases in B.C. as health orders reviewed

READ MORE: No indications of community spread after COVID-19 variant detected in Interior: IH

A co-worker’s dash-cam footage shows a man walking between vehicles and at one point bending down next to a tire, but he is out of camera view. It appears he is focused on a tire, but Yaretz said police have told her there is not enough evidence from that video clip to determine guilt.

Yaretz said there is no security patrolling the area, though staff have been offered rides to and from their vehicles. She said staff have asked for cameras to be installed in the area, but so far there has been no commitment from the employer.

According to the Kamloops RCMP Const. Crystal Evelyn, the file remains open and officially involves three separate incidents around Ponderosa Place in which nails were placed behind a vehicle’s tires, including one that yielded video surveillance of a suspect.

Screws have also been used by the vandal to damage the tires of vehicles driven by staff at Ponderosa Lodge. (Yanina Yaretz photo)

Screws have also been used by the vandal to damage the tires of vehicles driven by staff at Ponderosa Lodge. (Yanina Yaretz photo)

Police received the first report on Oct. 19 of last year, which eventually led to the discovery of surveillance footage showing a man in dark clothing with a white stripe, walking with a limp, approaching vehicles.

In November, another report involving nails under parked vehicle tires was received from the area and police questioned two people sitting nearby, but both denied any involvement or knowledge of an offence. The most recent incident was reported in late January and has been added to the original investigation.

Evelyn said police are still working on identifying the man seen in the footage.

“If the person who reported the incident would like to further discuss details of the investigation, they are welcome to contact Kamloops RCMP and reference their file number,” she told KTW.

Anyone who has information on the file, or who may have been a victim and has not yet reported it, contact the Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3193.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame Tire has offered to fix, free of charge, any tires damaged by the culprit. Notre Dame Tire is at 797 Notre Dame Dr. The company can be reached by phone at 250-377-8473.

CoronavirusHealthcare

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A barrel racer is seen at the Cloverdale Rodeo. (Photo courtesy Cloverdale Rodeo)
Cloverdale Rodeo Country Fair postponed until later in 2021

Rodeo president say both public safety related to the pandemic and the removal of border restrictions will determine new date

Ricky Ge, a Langley Air Cadet, is playing in an international cadets orchestra. (Ricky Ge/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley Air Cadet toots his own horn in international virtual concert

Trombonist Ricky Ge will be playing in the Commonwealth Day event

A man suspected of stealing electric grooming products from a store. (Langley RCMP/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Excavator, perfume, generator among items stolen in Langley

Langley RCMP are looking for suspects in recent crimes

A memorial to Hudson Brooks outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo)
Officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran testified at coroner’s inquest Tuesday morning

1 dead, 2 injured in potentially alcohol-fueled collision in North Vancouver

The collision occurred just after 11 p.m. on March 2 on Low Level Road

COVID-19 vaccines were available at a site on East Pender in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Feb. 25. (Twitter/Sarahblyth17)
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents offered $5 after getting COVID-19 vaccine

It’s an effort to ‘incentivize people to engage,’ says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix

</p>
A survey by Statistics Canada finds Black Canadians earn less than non-visible minority Canadians despite having higher levels of education. (The Canadian Press file photo)
COVID-19 worsened unemployment picture for Black Canadians

Black Canadians also more likely to suffer other hardships

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. teacher transferred then suspended after students report feeling ‘scared, nervous’

Authorities found that teacher did not create inviting, respectful environment for students

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

Most Read