The Guild Hall is under attack.
It has been vandalized by hoodlums several times since last week.
“Every other night they come back to break more stuff,” said general manager Jenny Hamilton. “They’ve held off for a couple nights so I’m hoping that they’re about done with us.”
Several windows have been smashed, as has the glass railing in front of the theatre.
It’s especially frustrating because the vandals have destroyed parts of the building installed less than a year ago, she said.
“Frustrating is probably the nicest way I can describe it,” said Hamilton. “It’s just depressing.
“We haven’t even had the stuff for a year and we have no money, so who knows what will happen.”
This isn’t the first time the Guild Hall has been targeted by vandals.
It’s something that they face every year.
“It seems to start as soon as it warms up,” said Hamilton. “Once school’s out, it seems to stop – I guess kids go on holidays.
“As soon as school starts again we start getting vandalized here and there until the first snowfall.”
While it’s a problem they’ve faced in the past, this spate of incidents has been much worse.
“They really went crazy this year,” said Hamilton.
The damage will cost thousands to repair, and Hamilton said they are thinking of replacing some of the glass with an unbreakable alternative.
They’re also looking at the possibility of installing video cameras, said Al Macleod, the president of the Guild Hall board.
“If we get video footage, we may be able to do something with that,” he said. “It’s pretty tough to deal with and catch anybody in the act.”
Video cameras are the best for deterring this kind of crime, said RCMP Sgt. Don Rogers.
“It’s the best evidence, as you can see from the riots in Vancouver,” he said.
But without video evidence or witnesses, these types of crimes are difficult to solve, said Rogers.
“It’s a crime of opportunity for the perpetrators,” he said. “It’s disturbing to think they’re causing that much damage just for the heck of it.”
Rogers encourages anyone with information to contact the RCMP.
The motivation isn’t that hard to figure out, said Hamilton.
“It wasn’t that long ago that I was a teenager,” said Hamilton.
The boredom is understandable, but that isn’t an excuse for the vandalism, she said.
“I learned young that destruction is easy, but creation takes intelligence.
“I didn’t want to be known as a dumbass, a smartass maybe, but not a dumbass.”
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