| Jan 17, 2018

Eleven cottages on Maple Lane, Meadow Lane, and Maple Grove Crescent were vandalised by perpetrators on an ATV last Friday night between sometime before 9pm and 11pm. Patio and garage doors were smashed by the ATV, and the vandals destroyed tv’s and mirrors, emptied fire extinguishers, broke toilets and sinks and appliances, creating maximum destruction in a short time frame.

The laneways are all accessed via Steele Road in the former hamlet of Bradshaw just north of Tichborne in South Frontenac.

A year round resident, who lives nearby, received a call from one of the property owners who is currently in Florida. The property owner has an alarm system that notified him there, and also has an internet connected camera showing that a patio door was off its moorings and laying in the snow.

The OPP had already been called, but the police service was stretched due to the weather that night (a flash freeze, high winds and snowfall had abruptly ended a warm, rainy patch of weather in the late afternoon) and the resident went out to see what was going on.

The resident went out in a car, and with another neighbour who took an ATV they went to the house. When they got to the house, they saw that the ATV had also hit the garage door, and the house had been entered and a lot of damage had been done.

“From there we decided to follow the tracks to see where they went. We went into one house and saw they had destroyed the banisters, tv’s, mirrors, and they also had sat down and had a snack. Nothing of significance seemed to be missing. They were only interested in destruction.”

They followed the tracks and eventually found the two perpetrators in one of the houses, but they also saw that there was a rifle on the ATV so they decided to back off. Later they found out that the rifle was a stolen air gun that belonged to one of absentee homeowners.

Soon after they observed the ATV heading back towards Steele Road so they followed. When they reached the ATV, the police were arriving from the other direction. The ATV was still running but the two people who had been on it had run off into the woods. The police remained on scene waiting for a canine unit to come and help them give chase. Apparently the perpetrators were not found that evening.

The male resident, who requested not to be identified, said that the next day he went back to the houses with a forensics officer and was also interviewed by police. The surveilance camera photo was posted on a Bob’s Lake Facebook group site, and the other photos were submitted to the News.

On Tuesday, OPP Officer Roop Sandhu, Communications Officer with the Frontenac Detachment, informed the News that there would be no statement to the public about the incident, which is somewhat unusual in cases of vandalism. Police often ask the public for assistance in identifying suspects in these kinds of cases.

The reason for this reluctance to communicate might have something to do with the tragic death of Debra Ann Hill (Teal), who died early the next morning outside of her house on Steele Road after being driven home by police about 2 hours vandalism had taken place, while the canine search would have still been going on.

There is absolutely no indication that the two cases are linked, except that it is likely, although police have said nothing, that the officers who drove Debra Hill home that night were already at that location because they were still investigating the break-ins.

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