White Rock meter-damage charges announced
City of White Rock officials are crossing their fingers the recent arrest of two individuals will curb a rash of damage to parking meters around Peace Arch Hospital.
Dan Bottrill, the city's chief administrative officer, said 45 of the meters have been damaged since Jan. 5, in about 10 separate incidents.
"It's been a bit of an ongoing problem," he told Peace Arch News.
"It looks like they're trying to get into the coin box."
Bottrill said police advised the city that suspects were arrested earlier this month after machines were seen being vandalized.
He confirmed the targeted machines were among about 90 that posed a challenge in 2012 because they didn't accept new-issue loonies and toonies. The city spent about $14,000 fixing the problem.
Bottrill said he didn't have a figure on the cost of addressing the recent damage, but said it was far greater than any amount the culprits responsible for it gained in stealing the coins.
The machines are emptied daily, he said.
"In many cases, there was no money in those meters."
Bottrill described the damage to city property, and resulting cost of repairs, as "distressing," but said it was comforting to learn the spree may finally be curbed.
"We're hopeful it won't continue," he said.
"The fact that there was an arrest is really good."
White Rock RCMP Const. Shaileshni Molison confirmed the arrests – including of a woman "of no fixed address" – were made.
Late Thursday, she announced that charges of mischief under $5,000 and theft under $5,000 have been laid against a South Surrey man in connection with a Feb. 2 meter-damage incident.
William Furugori is due to appear in Surrey Provincial Court on March 5.