Vandals set fire to the Quimper Park washroom garbage can and towel dispensers. (Google Maps Image)

Middle school students busted for vaping in Oak Bay

Oak Bay Police respond to minors vaping, arson, and transients sleeping in a car

Revelations of vaping-caused illnesses have escalated concerns over the use of electronic cigarettes in the past year, and now those concerns have reached Oak Bay, and with minors.

Last week Oak Bay Police addressed middle school students in Oak Bay who were vaping on school grounds.

“Vaping and all tobacco products are prohibited on school grounds and this rule may be enforced with school suspensions if students are found to be in violation,” said Oak Bay Police Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties.

Vaping was one of the many calls Oak Bay Police responded to from Oct. 14 to 20.

Among the most concerning was Wednesday’s report of a suspected arson at the public washrooms of the Quimper Street Park. Oak Bay Fire Department assessed the building was damaged by fires set in the garbage cans and towel dispensers. There are no witnesses or suspects to the crime at this time.

READ MORE: Developer rushes to demolish historic wall before Oak Bay applies heritage protection

About 2:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oak Bay Police were alerted to a suspicious person in the 2000-block of Oak Bay Avenue. Police approached the male who was found to have an outstanding warrant. He was consequently arrested and taken into custody and held to attend court, Bernoties said.

At about 6 a.m. on Saturday, police responded to a call on Central Avenue where a local resident was woken up by the sound of his car honking in the driveway.

The resident found an unknown intoxicated woman in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, which was left unlocked. Police attended but the woman had already left the area on foot and was not located.

“If you don’t want strangers stealing from or sleeping in your car, we highly recommend locking your doors,” Bernoties said.

That same day, Oak Bay Police attended to a Deal Street address at the request of the Victoria Police Department to locate a male wanted on an outstanding warrant. Oak Bay officers located the man at the house and executed the warrant. The male was held to attend court.

READ ALSO: Council tags two more Oak Bay homes for bylaw infringement

On Sunday police investigated a report of a cougar sighting in the university woods across from the Henderson Recreation Centre. The caller believed to have seen a cougar near the pump station just before midnight.

Officers attended and walked through the area shortly afterward but did not see the animal or any conclusive tracks.

Throughout the week Oak Bay dispatch received five abandoned 911 calls.

Please do not hang up if you call 911 in error, Bernoties reminded public. Stay on the phone and wait until the 911 operator ensures there is no emergency and advises you can hang-up.

And as we enter the cold weather season Oak Bay Police would again like to remind drivers to safety-check their vehicles.

“As we are approaching colder weather and encounter frost in the mornings please take the time to properly clear, scrape and defrost your windows to ensure that you have adequate visibility for safe driving,” Bernoties said.

If you have information regarding these or any crime, phone Oak Bay Police at 250-592-2424 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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