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 nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The future of the Cache Creek pool is still up in the air as council ponders different options and cost considerations. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
No decision about whether Cache Creek pool will open in 2021

Council still discussing pool’s future; no date set for public meeting about its fate

More people at home during the pandemic is probably one of the reasons for a spike in water usage in Ashcroft in 2020. (Photo credit: Pixabay)
Ashcroft residents urged to conserve water after usage spike in 2020

Water consumption in 2020 increased by 14 per cent over previous year

Sandbagging materials outside an Emergency Operations Centre in Cache Creek in April 2020, after flooding prompted several evacuation alerts and orders in the community. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Cache Creek council asks for more info about alert system

Decision about joining emergency notification system deferred to next meeting

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Most Read