Stewart RCMP are looking for answers after 15 glass insulators were shot off a secluded BC Hydro transmission line north of Highway 37.
Cst. Rob Gardner told Black Press Media they believe someone used a shotgun and birdshot pellets to intentionally damage insulators near the Bell 2 heliskiing lodge, causing an outage on Sept. 21 that left 170 customers north of Terrace without power for close to 30 hours.
The mischief is estimated to have caused over $63,000 worth of damage.
RCMP first received a report of mischief over $5,000 on Sept. 23, after BC Hydro aerial patrols of the northwest transmission line located the damage.
“We’re not sure why someone would do it,” Gardner said.
BC Hydro spokesperson Geoff Hastings said usually when the electric utility sees damage, it’s to their infrastructure for copper wire theft.
However, there have been a few cases of intentional damage when Hastings said “there’s no reason that [they] can see for it at all.”
In 2016, two large companies north of Terrace had their operations disrupted for almost an entire day after someone shot out a glass insulator on the very same line.
And since April, at least four pad-mounted transformers have been vandalized in North Vancouver with what appears to have been some kind of saw and drill, causing days of power outages and concerning safety risks.
Gardner said RCMP are very concerned about the unsafe use of a firearm.
“If anyone has heard anyone bragging about doing this … we need to know about it,” he said.
People with information relating to the mischief are asked to contact Stewart RCMP at 250-636-2233 and refer to file number 2019-312.
To remain anonymous, people can contact Crime Stoppers 24 hours a day at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).
Crime Stoppers tips that lead to an arrest and charge could result in a cash reward of up to $2,000.