25 car owners had an unpleasant surprise after leaving their vehicles in a parking lot of a popular hiking area near Squamish.
Surrey resident Lori Pederson was about to go hiking near Garibaldi Lake around 9 a.m. on Sunday morning when she noticed two cars with their windows smashed near a washroom in the parking lot.
Pederson says when she walked further, she saw dozens more cars vandalized.
“It was car after car damaged,” she says.
Most vehicles had the driver or passenger window glass shattered. Pederson says some car owners had their valuables taken as well.
Pederson goes on regular hikes in the area, but says she has never seen anything like it before.
“I am nervous now, especially being a female. You are on your own, 3-4 hours away from getting help,” she says.
Squamish RCMP Sgt. Wayne Pride says instances of car break-ins this extreme are not frequent in the area.
However, when visitors leave valuables in their vehicle, it is an easy target for a smash-and-grab, says Pride.
There are no suspects in custody, and the parking lot did not have video surveillance.
Pride says they are reminding people to give police a call if they see anything suspicious.
“Do not leave your valuables in vehicles. A lot of people have that ‘it will never happen to me’ mindset, and it is amazing how much stuff and money people leave in their cars,” he says.
Pederson says she would like to see cameras installed for all the Garibaldi Park camping locations.
“This is just making our ICBC rates skyrocket and stopping people from going back into nature,” she says. “I’m worried someone will be there one time and get hurt.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Vandalized cars near Garibaldi Lake