Columbia Valley & Cranbrook RCMP news

(RCMP RELEASE) This week the Columbia Valley RCMP received about 65 calls for service; last year that number was 77.  The following is a sample of a few of the more interesting calls from the past week.

By; Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck the commander of the Columbia Valley RCMP Detachment

Cub killed in collision near Edgewater

On October 2, at about 8:30 p.m., Columbia Valley RCMP received a complaint from an Edgewater resident who advised that there was a dead bear in the middle of the road on Highway 95 just south of town. RCMP attended and located a deceased bear cub on the shoulder of the road, obviously the victim of a traffic collision.  As the officers were searching the area for the mother bear another resident approached them and indicated that the mother and two other cubs where in a nearby tree.  The responding officers confirmed three other bears in a tree situated near the road where the young bear was hit.  The large sow bear was upset that she had lost a loved one and was acting very threatening to the police.  The RCMP, with the assistance of some homeowners, transferred the dead bear into a pickup truck and then transported it approximately one  km south on Hwy. 95 to ensure safer acquisition by highway personnel when they came to clear it off the side of the road.  The local residents were familiar with the bear family and were comfortable leaving the family to grieve in the area.

Collision with deer

During the evening hours of October 5, Columbia Valley RCMP received a report of a motor vehicle collision involving a Dodge Caravan that had struck a deer while southbound on Hwy 93/95 near Radium Hot Springs.  The driver of the van attended the detachment to report the accident in a separate vehicle as the van he had been driving had sustained heavy front end damage on the right side.  He said that the accident had occurred earlier in the evening while he was travelling southbound from Radium.   Although the van was full of passengers no one in the van had been injured as a result of the indecent, but they were a little shaken up.

Driver trapped in truck after knocking power line down

On October 6, at about 4 p.m., Columbia Valley RCMP received a report of a transport truck that had stuck a power line in Edgewater . The complainant called while still in the vehicle and reported that he had been driving a tractor trailer unit when his box trailer struck a low-hanging power line and knocked it down onto his vehicle. The responding RCMP officer advised the driver to remain in his truck until BC Hydro and Edgewater Fire Department arrived on scene. The driver advised that he was not injured and that he could not see any “sparking.” RCMP quickly attended and met with fire service at the scene. It was confirmed that the downed wire was an electrical line from the pole to a residence. BC Hydro attended soon after and removed the power line from the truck.  Luckily no one was hurt; the driver avoided serious injury or death by remaining in the vehicle and waiting for emergency services.  This is a great reminder, if this happen to you, even if you don’t see any “sparking,” stay in the vehicle and wait for emergency services and Hydro personnel.  If you get out of the vehicle you could be electrocuted as soon as you touch the ground.  Electricity is an invisible, unpredictable and very dangerous phenomenon whose danger cannot be underestimated.

Wee escape artist returned home

During the mid-afternoon hours of October 8 Columbia Valley RCMP received a complaint from an Invermere resident that he had found a seemingly lost child that was wearing little clothing.  RCMP immediately attended and noted the small one was wearing only a sweater. Neighbours had found the three-year- old child walking around naked and briefly looked for the parents before returning to the warmth of the residence where they called police.  Almost simultaneously RCMP received a call that a grandmother was out looking for the young one and was having no luck finding him.  RCMP notified grandma and reunited the pair.  Apparently this was not the first time the escape artist had gotten out of the house and that each time they have taken measures to prevent it from occurring again. Somehow the child exited through the front door which had been equipped with a child safety device but was circumvented by the little one.  After a quick examination of the child it was apparent that he was of good health and may have a career as some kind of reverse engineer.

Locking down criminals and deflating egos

Years ago, when I had a much smaller waistline and much larger biceps, I was a member of the RCMP Emergency Response Team (ERT) in Calgary.  The RCMP ERTeam (otherwise known as SWAT in other agencies) is described as “a group of highly-trained RCMP members capable of employing specialized weapons, equipment, and tactics to resolve extremely high-risk situations.”

On one particular day we were deployed to arrest some very bad people who had been accused of homicide in another province.  Because of unfolding circumstances, the arrest had to happen in a large parking lot of a busy strip mall located about 30 minutes outside of Calgary.  As we quickly developed our tactical plan we rolled up our uber-cool black shirt sleeves to expose our muscles, pulled our super fashionable tactical black balaclavas over our faces and made sure our weapons looked clean and ominous.

Soon after, we saw the accused and rushed out of our bulky, intimidating black SUV.  We aggressively confronted and arrested the accused who surrendered quickly when faced with this team of highly trained, muscle bound para-military police.  A nearby transport team came and took the accused away to jail.  After they left, the team and I congratulated each other with manly high fives and fist bumps; as we walked back to the big manly black SUV we even complimented how big each other’s muscles were and how we scared the big criminals. Once we got back to the truck in order to travel to our secret tactical lair, we discovered the truck doors locked, all of them.  And as we all gazed into the large black intimidating SUV we witnessed the keys in the ignition.  It was not long before the muscles, along with the egos became quite deflated.  While we waited the 30 minutes for the spare set of keys, we sat down beside our fortress of embarrassment and garnered some very strange looks from everyone; in fact we even kept the balaclavas on, this time not for fashion or bravado, but to simply hide what fools we were.  Lesson of the day: muscles and heightened egos will never replace common sense.


(October 2nd, 6am to October 9th, 6am)

166 calls for service throughout this week.

0 impaired drivers

3 Collisions – 3 in town ( property damage and/or minor injury)

1 Hit and Run – driver identified and Charges pending

8 Mental Health Calls – 2 apprehensions in assistance to East Kootenay Regional Hospital

3 Assault complaints: 1 domestic in nature, 1 common assault and 1 assault with a knife all of which resulted in arrests. The accused was held in custody on the weapon complaint.

12 Thefts reported including:

  • 3 shoplifting (one of which was in excess of $650.00)
  • 1 Theft of auto – 1 incident where a vehicle was taken without permission
  • 8 Theft from vehicle – primarily change stolen from unlocked vehicles with one report of locked vehicles entered. One owner reported a pink camo ammunition clip (empty) stolen from her vehicle amongst other items

1 Break and Enter to a residence where a garage was entered, vehicles rummaged through and 2 mountain bikes stolen at a total value of over $3,500.00. Please watch for a white / blue Trek Superfly and a purple / gray Giant Rain

6 reports of property damage: 1 where Charges are proposed on a prisoner destroying the legal counsel phone and 1 involving graphitti to house under construction where several youths were identified

2 drug seizures: marihuana

11 false alarms / 8 false 911 complaints

Sgt Barry GRAHAM

Cranbrook RCMP Operations NCO