Sometime between Sunday night, June 10, and Tuesday morning, vandals managed to leave their mark on the caboose sitting in front of the Kaatza Station Museum.
Museum curator Barbara Simkins told police that she was last at the museum on Sunday evening, and when she arrived at work on Tuesday morning, she saw the blue spray painted letters across the orange of the caboose.
Const. Kevan Cramner says that RCMP don’t have any suspects, but they are hoping that anyone who witnessed this act will step forward.
Cramner says there is one camera located at the Visitor Centre, but it is a live feed and doesn’t record.
Simkins she it breaks her heart to see something like this happen.
“It’s the time the volunteers have put in,” she says. “To say nothing of the money that’s been spent. To have someone come in and do that is heartbreaking.”
The museum has experienced vandalism off and on over the years, and in 1988 Simkins says she had to move all of the display items that used to reside in the train cars, including the caboose, into the building because the museum was experiencing regular break-ins and items were being destroyed.
Museum volunteer Don Gordon, says that the work of the vandals sets him and the other volunteers back about a day. Gordon has worked on many of the restoration projects for the museum, and he was clearly frustrated with the fact that anyone would vandalize the property.
“We operate on a limited budget,” he says, and explained that the funds the museum receives from the town of Lake Cowichan and Areas F and I go towards paying the curator and hiring a summer student. The rest comes from donations, fundraisers, and in the form of volunteer time.
If you have information about this crime, contact local RCMP at 250-749-6668.