Equipment belonging to a contractor hired to remove hazardous trees from White Rock’s Maccaud Park was vandalized the night before work was to begin.
D&S Tree Services owner Doug Shortt said the damage combined with the project’s delay has cost him “a few thousand dollars.”
And while Shortt has no evidence the incident is linked to ongoing tensions in the city over tree removal, he can’t help but wonder.
“It just seems like an awful coincidence,” he told Peace Arch News.
The damage – two slashed tires – occurred around 6 p.m. Tuesday, near 16 Avenue and 160 Street, where Shortt parks his company vehicles. Shortt wasn’t there at the time but said the property landlord found a suspicious man and discovered the chipper trailer and truck tires slashed while investigating a “pop pop” sound.
The culprit had to walk 150 feet into the compound to get to the vehicles, Shortt noted.
“It’s a very malicious attack on my equipment,” he said.
The incident occurred just days after two vehicles belonging to White Rock Coun. Helen Fathers were vandalized. In that Feb. 25 attack, three tires were punctured and both vehicles were spray-painted. Fathers believes the incident may be related to her opposition to council’s decision to approve the removal of three trees on Royal Avenue, which was granted after area residents complained the trees obscured their views.
Shortt said police are aware of Tuesday’s incident, which delayed city-ordered work to remove 24 hazardous alders from the Kent Street park by 24 hours.
He noted that while he often encounters people who aren’t happy to see trees come down, the vandalism to his vehicles was the first he’s experienced in nine years of business.