PENTICTON - RCMP were kept busy chasing down a group of youths up to no good last night and are asking for the public's help to track them down.
RCMP Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth says it all started when officers responded to a complaint about a group of teenagers kicking fences and throwing garbage cans on Power Street, Churchill Road and Lakeshore Drive around 9 p.m., Jan. 29.
Police also received a complaint about four young people kicking fences and spraying a substance on a vehicle on Fairview Road about the same time.
An hour later, around 10 p.m., a police patrol came across a man who had been bear sprayed. He was taken to hospital for treatement but wouldn't tell the officers who had sprayed him.
Police were then called to Lakeshore Drive at about 10:39 p.m. where a group of youths were seen wearing dark clothing and making a lot of noise. Police found a van parked on the street that appeared to have a tampered ignition, but had not been reported stolen. The van’s owners were surprised to learn of the van was not in their driveway on Latimer Street when contacted by police.
Then early this morning, Jan. 29, RCMP and firefighters were called to Penticton Secondary School where a pile of napkins was set ablaze near the front doors, Wrigglesworth says. Four or five youths were reported in the vicinity prior to the incident.
And it didn't end with the fire.
Wrigglesworth says police then responded to a complaint on Forestbrook Drive at around 1 a.m. concerning four young people, believed to be male and wearing dark clothing, seen hitting a vehicle with metal pipes.
Police were also called to a Power Street address after the female resident reported a man entering her basement suite through a window. She was bear sprayed when she confronted the individual, but managed to call police, who cleared the residence and transported them to hospital for treatment.
The suspect is described as a young Caucasian man with no facial hair, very pale, a thin build and about 6 feet tall. He was wearing a black hoody and dark pants.
Wrigglesworth says investigators are following up on a number of leads and poses a question to parents of teenagers.
“Do you have a teenage son? Where was he last night? Who was he with? Did he and his friends steal a car, assault people with bear spray, break into houses, break car windows, commit arson and other endless mischief in Penticton?”
Anyone with information to identify the suspects is asked to call the Penticton RCMP at 250-492-4300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
— This story was updated at 2:10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 to include new information from the Penticton RCMP.