White Rock RCMP have arrested and charged a male suspect in the removal of COVID-19 warning signs from the city’s pier and promenade.
Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls told Peace Arch News the man was arrested after two residents called police at 5:40 a.m. on Sunday (March 28) to report a man cutting the signs from the promenade fencing and pier and carrying them away with him.
“Police attended and located the man on the pier with the COVID signs in his hand, a tool belt and a box cutter,” Pauls said, adding that the man was arrested without incident.
Pauls said the man was wearing a mask at the time of his arrest, “but also had a card in his possession with anti-mask literature on it.”
The man was charged with mischief and later released with a court date and on condition that he was not to be in the area of the pier.
No name has been released in relation to the charges, but Pauls said the man is 24 years old and from the Interior of B.C.
The City of White Rock signs were installed last year to warn people to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 by staying two metres (six feet) apart and wearing a mask.
“I thank the residents for reporting this to us in a timely manner so our officers could intervene,” Pauls said. “These are signs paid for by the tax payers to promote safety while enjoying the pier.”
On Tuesday the detachment also Tweeted its thanks to residents who had reported the incident.
White Rock Festival of Lights organizer Gary Gumley told PAN that he had observed Monday that signs had been removed from BNSF fencing adjacent to the pier and from the pier itself.
He said that one of the signs, which had been screwed in place at the end of the pier, had been cut away, while zip ties that had held the others in place were scattered along the walkway.