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Joyrider mows vehicle through Manitoba canola field, causing thousands in damage

Click to play video 'Manitoba farmer’s canola field damaged' Manitoba farmer’s canola field damaged
A Headingley, Man., farmer says he's looking at thousands of dollars in damage after someone appears to have driven a vehicle through his canola field over the long weekend. Amber McGuckin reports – Aug 5, 2020

A Headingley, Man., farmer says he’s looking at thousands of dollars in damage after someone appears to have driven a vehicle through his canola field over the long weekend.

Dan Caron told 680 CJOB that this kind of vandalism has been happening for years, but this latest damage was far more significant, and he wants to get the message out that it’s unacceptable.

“We farm close to the city here, so unfortunately we’ve come to expect quads and bikes and the odd vehicle in and out of the field,” said Caron.

“I saw it over the weekend here, and it was the width of a pickup truck in and out of the field. I thought, OK, that’s a little more than normal, but I didn’t worry about it too much.”

It wasn’t until Caron got a call from a local aerial applicator who was coincidentally flying over his field that he realized how serious the damage was.

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“He sent me pictures of it and once we saw it from the air, I was really taken aback. That’s the worst by far we’ve ever had, so it’s pretty disappointing.”

Read more: Stuck elevator brings down alleged vandals at downtown Winnipeg high rise

Caron said he’s had encounters with people driving ATVs and bikes into his field over the years — and for the most part, the perpetrators have been apologetic and agreed to stop the destructive activity.

The driver in this case, however, appears to have taken a vehicle over 700 metres into Caron’s field, doing multiple loops on the field and trampling a wide area.

“We get it with the ATVs and bikes. It’s not acceptable, but we’ve talked to a lot of them in the past and they quit,” he said.

“Something like this… you’re trespassing, it’s vandalism and it’s disrespect.

“We’re in the thousands of dollars in terms of damage there, and what we can retrieve and recover out there… I’m not sure. It pushed it right down to the ground and a lot of it’s turning brown already. It’s pretty unfortunate.”

Caron said he notified local RCMP of the incident, but he’s mainly interested in raising awareness of this kind of behaviour to prevent it from happening in future to someone else.

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“We’re just hoping to get the awareness out. We’re not the only ones facing this. It’s disappointing, but hopefully word gets out and these cases will decrease in future,” he said.

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