Vandalized lights along Kelowna, B.C., waterfront could cost $40K to fix

An RCMP investigation is underway after vandals smashed decorative lights twice in one week worth more than $40,000.

Nautical lights smashed twice in one week near Kelowna's Tugboat Bay

Vandals damaged 23 lights on Nov. 28 and another 18 on Dec. 2, 2017. (Mike DenOuden/ City of Kelowna)

The City of Kelowna has filed an RCMP report after two instances of vandalism left decorative lights worth more than $40,000 destroyed along the city's waterfront. 

Last week, staff discovered 23 custom, nautical-themed lights smashed near Tugboat Bay.

Another 18 lights were damaged over the weekend, said a city foreman.

"Obviously somebody had a very heavy instrument that could smash the tops off of these lights and break the glass," said Ted Sophonow, parks supervisor with the City of Kelowna.

"It's very disappointing. We've never had any vandalism to this extent."

City staff said it appeared someone smashed the lights using a 'heavy, blunt instrument.' (Mike DenOuden/ City of Kelowna)

In some cases, glass was broken, in others, fixtures were removed from their foundation.

Lights cost roughly $1K each

Sophonow said the lights cost roughly $1,000 each when they were installed in the early 1990s and it will be a costly fix.

"To have something like this happen and the price involved to replace them ... it's a big hit that nobody was expecting or wanting to have to deal with."

Police continue to investigate both incidents of vandalism. Anyone with information is asked to come forward.

Meanwhile, the city is currently researching replacement options for the fixtures, said Sophonow.

"I hope by next spring, we'll be back with a light theme that will be comparable to this one."

The lights cost roughly $1,000 each when they were installed in the early 1990s, said staff. (Mike DenOuden/ City of Kelowna)

With files from CBC's Daybreak South.

About the Author

Jaimie Kehler

Jaimie Kehler is a web writer, producer and broadcaster based in Kelowna, B.C. She has also worked for CBC News in Toronto and Ottawa. To contact her with a story, email jaimie.kehler@cbc.ca.