RCMP investigate vandalized blueberry harvesters
'They are only salvageable perhaps for parts,' says blueberry grower.
A P.E.I. blueberry grower says vandals did thousands of dollars worth of damage to his harvesting equipment.
Terence MacDonald planned to help another grower, Billy Gill, on Monday — so he had placed his equipment in a field in Mount Stewart Sunday evening.
MacDonald said when people arrived to work early Monday they were shocked by what they found. The front gate was flattened and the tractors and the harvesters were seriously damaged or destroyed.
"It's just an untold amount of damage here, and the worst of it is, it's the kind of disappointment that there's people like that around this community," said MacDonald.
"They started up two tractors and I guess they kind of did demolition derby with them to the point where they tore a front wheel off one tractor," said MacDonald.
"The blueberry harvesters are completely destroyed. They are only salvageable perhaps for parts. They left one tractor running — the one that they had destroyed the rad in — so it over heated. I presume that the motor is shot on it. So it's a big loss to us."
MacDonald thinks there is about $50,000 to $100,000 worth of damage to his equipment. He says he has no idea why anyone would do it.
Gill agreed, wondering why anyone would go to such lengths to destroy things.
"I was very surprised that there's that kind of people around that would take tractors with harvesters on them and do joy riding and demolition to not only the harvesters, but the tractors, and the field, and the driveways, and the gate," said Gill.
MacDonald said other growers are offering to help with his blueberry harvest now that he has lost critical pieces of equipment.
"Blueberry growers, all morning, my phone has rang and rang and rang, with other growers offering me help. So that makes me feel really good."
RCMP say there are "persons of interest" in the Mount Stewart area, though they wouldn't elaborate.
Police also say while there have been suspicious fires in Mount Stewart this summer, at least at this point, they're not drawing any links between those incidents and last night's vandalism.