Local RCMP are investigating a case of mischief over $5,000 following a damaged excavator parked on Knouff Lake Road near Knouff Lake.
A John Deere excavator had been found to have numerous wires and hoses cut, drill holes into the metallic parts of the machine and dirt packed into the equipment’s air intake. The suspects also spray-painted profanity and messages such as “tree killer” along the body of the excavator and on the windows.
According to RCMP, the act might have been carried out during the late evening hours on Wednesday, Sept. 18 or on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 19.
The owner of the excavator was contracted to perform a ditch and culvert clean-up in the area and happened to park the excavator in a clearing where logging had previously taken place. Recently, the Knouff Lake area has been seeing signs posted by an unknown source – expressing opposition to the logging.
“We believe that whoever is responsible likely had a strong familiarity of the working components of these types of heavy machinery, which allowed them to cause maximal damage,” said Corporal Rob Welsman. “Unfortunately, this careless act resulted in a leak of fluids onto the ground which also caused soil contamination concerns.”
According to Cpl. Welsman, total damages are estimated to be more than $30,000 to repair.
The Barriere RCMP are asking anyone with information regarding the mischief to call the Barriere RCMP at 250-672-9918 or to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.