Hector Lang’s buddies grabbed the soon-to-be-married electrician from work Friday night and drove him to Dawson for his stag party.
Lang left his 1992 Chevrolet S10 truck, with about $2,500 worth of tools inside, parked at his Porter Creek high school jobsite.
By Saturday morning, the truck’s tires were slashed, its windows smashed and its gas tank punctured.
And Lang’s tools were gone.
For a one-income family with two young children and a wedding on the horizon, the vandalism was a painful blow, said Lang’s fiancé Laura Zealand.
“The truck may not have a great book value, but to our family that truck was our world,” Zealand said. “That truck gets Hector to his job and those tools allow him to do his job.”
When Lang left for Dawson on Friday, Zealand agreed to pick the truck up on Saturday.
At 3 a.m. Saturday morning, Zealand was awoken by an RCMP constable who phoned to tell her one of the truck’s windows had been broken.
She asked if the tools were still there; he said they were, explained Zealand.
Instead of waking up the couple’s two young girls, aged one and five, Zealand waited until morning to retrieve the truck with her future father-in-law, Dan Lang.
“When we got there, the truck had been completely, 100-per-cent destroyed,” said Zealand, who arrived at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Every one of the truck’s windows was smashed, its tires were slashed, its hood and roof had been stomped on, its mirrors had been ripped off, and its gas tank, which Lang had filled on Friday, had been emptied.
Lang’s tools were gone, and many of his personal effects had been burned with Molotov cocktails, said Zealand.
It took three calls to police before they responded, she said.
She later learned police had arrived on the scene at about 5 a.m. Saturday morning to find the truck smashed and the Molotov cocktails still burning, she said.
She received no second phone call.
“They absolutely had a responsibility to call me,” said Zealand.
RCMP were reluctant to take fingerprints of the scene, she added, noting she’d made a mistake by leaving the truck at the school.
“By them not doing something about it is showing an extremely apathetic behaviour,” she said.
Zealand was warned at 3 a.m. — when only the truck’s window was broken, said Sgt. Ross Milward, RCMP media officer.
“They were told to remove the vehicle; they failed to do so,” said Milward on Monday.
It was decided that fingerprints would be difficult to obtain and probably not useful, as the culprits were probably youth and not in the database, said Milward.
“It’s not like CSI where we just throw them into a computer and it spits out a name for us,” he said.
“I question why the vehicle was left there to begin with. It was in an unlit, secluded area with tools left in it. I wouldn’t leave any vehicle parked in an area like that.”
The S10 was worth about $4,000, making the total cost of the vandalism and theft between $6,000 and 7,000, said Zealand.
It’s not certain if Lang’s tools are insured.
His employer, Arcrite, has offered him use of tools until he can afford new ones, said Zealand.