A stolen SUV discovered on the KVR Trail near West Bench on Penticton Indian Band lands last weekend has highlighted how the trail in unmaintained areas is becoming a dumping ground for stolen vehicles.
Const. James Grandy confirmed the RCMP is responding to an increased number of calls about vehicles getting dumped on parts of the trail. The PIB reserve is a largely rural area close to city limits, making it easy access to dump a stolen vehicle, he explained.
Grandy added that the RCMP is working closely with the PIB guardianship program which patrols the area. This means more vehicles are being spotted.
“The program has band employees patrolling the entire reserve and they report any suspicious vehicles and activity to police, and thus increasing the number of vehicles found.”
Dawn Russell, PIB communications co-ordinator, said the major concern is when stolen vehicles are set on fire, which has happened in the past.
“In some cases, the person who steals the vehicle will dump it and set it on fire,” she said. “It has caused localized fires that have resulted in evacuations. So for the Penticton Indian Band, it is a public safety concern when they are set on fire, especially in the hotter weather.”
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