The Richmond RCMP is investigating after a number of potentially dangerous pest traps were discovered in a Steveston neighbourhood.
Jonard Janolino, who discovered the traps on Thanksgiving Monday, initially mistook them for leg-hold traps.
What he was actually looking at were mole traps, spring-loaded traps with iron jaws meant to be planted in mole holes.
“We looked down and saw something on the ground, it had caution tape on it, it looked like wiring. My friend looked at it and said, ‘Oh my God, that’s a trap!'”
It was one of two traps found on Moncton Street, across from the busy Steveston community centre and library.
Janolino said he and his friend picked up the trap and were in the process of heading to the local community policing centre, when they ran into RCMP officers disarming the second trap.
“I was actually really shocked for someone to put it there, especially in a high volume area where there’s a lot of foot traffic, a lot of pets,” he said.
Neighbours in the area expressed shock at the discovery, with some telling Global News they worried children could have set one of the traps off.
Leslie Fox with the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals said the traps do have the capacity to cause harm.
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“These devices have the potential to, and it’s certainly well documented that they can maim or kill animals, and children have been reportedly caught,” she said.
City of Richmond spokesperson Ted Townsend said the discovery of the traps was “very concerning,” and that they posed a “significant hazard for both humans and animals.”
Townsend said city bylaws ban the use of traps on public property.
Some neighbours say at least one of the traps may have been on private property, however, residents still expressed concern they were not clearly set up, with just a piece of yellow caution tape to mark them, and easily accessible to the public in a residential area.
Richmond RCMP says they are investigating but so far, there are no suspects.