West Vancouver police are seeking help from the public after a rash of recent vandalism left elementary school windows smashed in, graffiti spray-painted over parked cars and public washrooms trashed.
The most recent vandalism happened over the weekend between the evening of Friday Jan. 22 and Saturday, Jan. 23.
Multiple windows were smashed at Hollyburn Elementary on Duchess Avenue, resulting in broken glass spraying inside classrooms. There was also a significant amount of spray-painted graffiti in red and yellow paint.
“It wasn’t sophisticated,” said Const. Kevin Goodmurphy, spokesperson for the West Vancouver police department, who described most of the graffiti as “basic swear words.”
Three cars parked nearby in the 1200 block of Clyde Avenue were also hit by the spray-paint vandals. In one case, a car was painted with what Goodmurphy described as “a profane word” in large letters. “It was very offensive and very shocking to the vehicle owner,” who discovered it the next morning, said Goodmurphy.
On Monday, police received a report that another elementary school in the area, Ecole Pauline Johnson on 22nd Street, had also been hit with similar graffiti, sprayed on to a storage container on school property. “It’s likely related,” said Goodmurphy. “It’s very likely it happened the same evening.”
None of the graffiti appeared to target anyone specifically or be related to any kind of hate message, he said.
Goodmurphy said nobody saw the vandals but one person reported hearing a group of people in the area close to midnight on Friday night.
“We’re hoping maybe people did hear something or see something,” he said. “It is a densely populated area.”
The vandalism spree resulted in about $6,000 worth of damage.
The latest rash of vandalism follows reports of public washrooms being hit three times recently in municipal parks.
Goodmurphy said extensive damage to the washrooms at Horseshoe Bay park was reported by municipal bylaw officers Jan. 18 after someone went in overnight.
Doors to both men's and women's washrooms were broken, toilets and urinals were smashed and a lot of graffiti was painted inside, said Donna Powers, spokeswoman for the District of West Vancouver. Municipal staff are in the process of getting quotes for new washroom fixtures, doors and paint. Washrooms will be closed at Horseshoe Bay for at least a month, she said, and temporary portable toilets are in place.
Damage was also reported in public washrooms at Sandy Cove and Eagle Harbour parks. Those washrooms are open only in the summer. Damage was mostly limited to painted graffiti in both cases.