Windows were broken in three Ganges buildings early Sunday morning, with four different businesses affected.
Salt Spring RCMP responded to the Capital Regional District office on McPhillips Avenue, RE/MAX realty and Pod in the Creekhouse building on Fulford-Ganges Road, and the Bumper to Bumper auto parts store on Jackson Avenue.
Some of the businesses have been targeted in the past. The Creekhouse building has had multiple instances of vandalism in the past year and the CRD office has also been hit.
CRD parks and recreation manager Dan Ovington told the Driftwood on Monday that no entry had been gained to the office and that efforts were underway to repair the damage. Ovington said it could be weeks before the repairs were complete.
Police canvassed local businesses in an attempt to get video surveillance of the suspect. One witness described seeing two people fleeing one of the scenes, but was unable to give RCMP a description.
Several organizations in the community have taken notice. The Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce has held a few meetings on the subject of downtown security and invited members of the Community Economic Development Commission to attend.
Commissioner Darryl Martin was at two of the chamber events and reported on them at the CEDC’s Monday meeting at the library.
“The problem hasn’t gone away on its own,” he said. “We have fragmented governance, the RCMP are on their own and understaffed.”
“This small group is trying to find a vehicle to coordinate these different groups out there . . . to come to some kind of solution to the problem,” he added.
One of the suggestions arising from the meetings is for business owners to invest in cameras and motion-activated lights. The CEDC discussed possible funding for some programs to enhance security, including a grant for cameras and lights. The Ganges Visitors Centre has used a CRD grant-in-aid to help fund that equipment. The idea of retaining a consultant to help do some community engagement in Ganges was also floated at the meeting, to be discussed further at a later date.
Anyone with information on this weekend’s activities is asked to contact the Salt Spring Island RCMP detachment at 250-537-5555 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.