Morinville neighbourhood vandalized

A fence and Canada Post group mail box were two of many areas hit by vandals Wednesday night. – Stephen Dafoe Photos

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Residents awoke Wednesday morning to find their quiet neighbourhood blanketed with graffiti after an overnight vandalism spree. Vehicles, garbage cans, fences, sidewalks and buildings were tagged with symbols, slogans, and profanity. The vandalism took place off 102 Street in the area of 95 to 97 Avenue.

Morinville RCMP responded to complaints on the incident before 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, taking photos of the multiple properties hit during the spree. Constable Darren Hall, who attended the scene Wednesday morning, said it is believed the vandalism occurred sometime between midnight and 5:30 a.m. “Unfortunately, I don’t have any suspects at this time,” Hall said, adding police retrieved some paint cans and were sending them for analysis. “We’re just reaching out for anyone who saw anything to give us a call.”

The constable is concerned by the level of vandalism the community is seeing recently. “This one event in itself; there’s just no concern for people’s property when they’re spray painting fences and cars. To me that’s different than spray painting the street.”

The incident is perhaps the largest case of vandalism in the community this year, and follows a number of smaller incidents in the Hittinger district this spring. Police have not suggested any connection between incidents; however, Staff Sergeant Mac Richards said he has seen an uptick in vandalism in the community this spring.

“It would appear that the numbers have been increasing over the last month and half, two months,” Richards said, noting residents can avoid some forms of vandalism by not leaving valuables in their vehicles when unattended. “Some of them you are limited in what you can do. If they are going on your lawn and taking your lawn lights, there is not much you can do about that.”

Richards said a key to combating vandalism is to report what is going on to police, including reporting people wandering around late at night even if they are not causing any trouble. “It’s worth a phone call,” he said. “At least we are aware that people are out and about, and maybe we can change some people’s decisions about what they’re going to do while they’re out.”

He estimates the dollar damage from Wednesday’s incident to be considerable when one factors in the time to paint over or scrape off the graffiti. “Some of these won’t be covered by insurance, depending on what’s damaged,” he said. “There is a financial cost to the victims. To spray paint a car or a fence – that is just malicious.

Richards is hoping someone will turn the vandals in. “Someone in town knows who is responsible,” he said. “We’d like them to sort of do the right thing as a community member.”

He explained acts of vandalism can carry a higher level of offense, depending on what is damaged. A broken window may be valued at $100, but because it is attached to a residence, it would be treated at mischief over $5,000.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Morinville RCMP Detachment at 780-939-4550 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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  1. Well I guess it’s time to put something in place for the children/ youth to do in this town. Maybe then the crime rate would go down. There are 5 liquor stores and no place for these children to hang out with there friends or have something to keep them occupied.Just saying

  2. Viewing the above photo’s makes me feel sick to my stomache.

    The perpetrators of this disgusting act of vandalism know the difference between right and wrong but did it for kicks.

    I would love for them to be found and made to clean their mess in full view of the public and press.

    We have an amazing town that’s only getting better, these kinds of acts are intolerable.

  3. Maybe the peace officers could be out patrolling late at night. Correct me if I am wrong but dosent the town schedule their shifts?

  4. This is absolutely horrible!!! Not sure what 5 liquor stores have to do with this though?. Maybe the town of Morinville shouldn’t have built a community centre that no one voted on to be built or spent tons of money on a non-necessary facelift on their town office. How about spending money on a pool for a growing community?

  5. Honestly, there does need to be more activities for youth in our community BUT in this situation the vandalism took place between 12:00 and 5:30 am. It’s disgusting to me that the people (who I would assume had to be over 16 considering that they were out after 12:00) are this ignorant! Maybe it’s time to grow up a little bit, hopefully they’re held accountable when caught. My kids would be forced to work off any damages they caused in nice hard manual labor.

  6. i agree, build something for the teens! spend some money for them. if the town has 4 million to renovate their building and to build a town center then there should be money to do something for the kids! i start to unlike this town. there is so much to do in town or could be done for the people that live here(KIDS/TEENS included) but no, the town spends their money for a 4 million renovating project(what a joke, for 4 million i expect if i come there that i can sit in a golden chair while waiting to pay my utility bill.)

  7. I agree with Nicole. The people (likely someone under 30) who did this are probably not the type who would benefit from more activities or a pool. How many pools are open between midnight and 5:30 am? As well, it is not the five liquor stores in town or not enough programs to keep people busy as I would argue that people like this are not likely to go to such events.

    To me, it is obvious that this vandalism is due to a glaring lack of respect for private and public property. I wonder how they would feel if someone spray painted something that was important to them?

    No, our problem is one of responsibility: the people themselves for doing something so stupid and senseless and the parents for not teaching or watching their youth (be the 5 or 25). I’ve done some dumb things in my life, but I learned the hard way. I recall as a six or seven-year old breaking a bunch of bottles in a mall parking lot. Unfortunately (or maybe a good thing), my father happened to have followed me and my friend and after the first couple of bottles hit the pavement, his hand came up from behind me and hit my butt – hard. I then had to go back with a paper bag, broom and dust pan and clean-up all the glass. That was a life lesson that I still remember over 40 years later and passed on to my kids. How many parents are willing to do that today? Some, but not many, I think.

    The only thing I wonder is if they were stupid enough to do it in the same neighbourhood they live so they can see the damage they caused every day. People talk about the dumb things they’ve done. They always do. So I hope that someone overhears the people that did this and turns them in to the RCMP. I think Nicole is right and the persons responsible need to be made to fix what they defaced. It worked for me when I was very young. But in current society there is a general unwillingness to take responsibility and give or accept punishment for transgressions, so I doubt we will ever see it.

  8. This reminds me of the old TV commercial, when they asked ” it’s 10:00 o’clock do you know where your children are” DO YOU ??????

  9. I find it funny that some people say we should build something for teens to stop this kind of behavior. I grew up here 10 years ago when there was no skate park, etc., and yet I never once wreaked somebody else’s property. Maybe their opinions would change if they were the ones who were having their property vandalized (as mine was this week). This kind of behavior is inexcusable. Plain and simple.

  10. I’ve lived in alot of cities and towns around this country and its always the same old story, nothing for the teens to do and that’s why they do drugs and vandalism….. To this I say BS! Towns in which I’ve have lived in, that do have things and outlets for the teens have the same problems. There is always an element within the population due to their upbringing, mentality or whatever that will do mindless acts, then as they grow older we get to know them as the overgrown adolescence that keep the police busy.

    Interesting enough, I came through Edson last night and had to repair a flat tire at a local convenience store. A group of people in their late teens and early twenties got really concerned as I fixed my car it what I’m guessing was their drug dealing spot. All hanging red bandanas from their left pockets, it would appear organized gangs are a part of Edson’s community.

    Now back to the Morinville problem. What these kids do not need is a bunch of bleeding hearts making excuses for why they did what they did. Morinville better wake up and hit back fast and hard through Policing and the Courts. With the number of active gangs in Edmonton it’s only a matter of time before they call this Town home, if they haven’t already done so.

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