Suspected thieves turn out to be Good Samaritans in Tofino

 This time they really were holding it for a friend. 

Two people suspected of stealing a bag from a Tofitian beach last week turned out to have taken it for safekeeping. 

 A local surf shop had left the bag on the beach before hitting the waves for surfing lessons on April 14, according to Sgt. Blaine Mumford of the Tofino RCMP.  

 Mumford said a witness reported seeing a man and woman take the bag around 5 p.m. and then walk up the trail to Maltby Road before disappearing out of sight. 

Shortly after the theft was reported, the alleged thieves brought the bag to the surf shop and advised they thought it had been left at the beach.  

“The people who picked it up thought that it was lost property,” Mumford said. 

 Mumford estimated the bag contained about $500 worth of items, including a cell-phone, and while this suspected theft wrapped up with a happy ending; he encourages beachgoers not to leave valuables unattended. 

“Unfortunately there are some people who might just decide to pick it up and take it,” he said. 

 

 Everyone OK after highway collision

Two vehicles collided on the Pacific Rim Highway last week when a driver misjudged the amount of time they had to turn off MacKenzie Beach Road. 

No significant injuries were reported and both vehicles remained drivable after the crash, according to Sgt. Mumford.  

Mumford said neither speed nor alcohol were contributing factors in the collision and that it was a simply a matter of misjudged timing.  

He noted the summer’s sun is setting in and bringing increased traffic to Tofino.   

“With the tourist season coming up, we just remind people to drive safely,” he said. 

 

Police step up marine enforcement

 Local boaters can expect to see an increased police presence on the water. 

“The season is coming,” Sgt. Mumford said. “We’re going to be ramping up a little bit on our marine enforcement in and around Tofino.” 

Police pulled over a vessel last week and ordered it back to the dock after discovering no one on board was certified to operate it. 

“Everyone operating a powerboat on the water now has to have some kind of proof of competency and if you don’t have that you can face a ticket under the Canada Shipping Act,” Mumford said. 

“People in town should be aware that we’ll be doing more checks.”

Operating a powerboat without the required license can bring a $250 fine and Mumford encourages locals to check online resources to bring themselves up to speed and avoid facing fines. 

“We just want people to be safe on the water,” he said. 

Police also nabbed an impaired boater last week. 

“There was a complaint of a vessel coming over from Opitsaht with an impaired operator,” Mumford said. “We attended the dock and determined that the operator was in fact impaired.”

He said the operator faces criminal charges for impaired operation of a motor vessel and was released with a future court date. 

 reporter@westerlynews.ca