Vandals steal from visiting tourism experts

Reward being offered after thieves break into vehicles belonging to visitors to the area and steal from them

Editor, The Times:

On Saturday, April 7, something happened at the parking lot on the Trophy Mountain road that everyone in town should be concerned about.

My name is Ian Eakins and I own Wells Gray Adventures. For 24 years Wells Gray Adventures has been bringing thousands of people into our town to experience our incredible wilderness. Many of us have been working very hard to build up our tourism industry. Almost every business in the valley reaps the benefit of the money that visitors bring and spend in our stores and businesses help keeping them alive and viable.

The week before last we had a group go into our Trophy Cabin. This was a free trip sponsored by our company. The people on this trip were industry experts. They were coming to our area for the first time to see what Clearwater and Wells Gray had to offer. They had many contacts and the ability to bring more people to our town during the slow winter season.

These people had a fantastic time and were impressed with our mountains and our town. But they returned to their cars to find them badly vandalized.  The windows were smashed and their personal items, some valuable and some that could only be important to their owners, such as journals, were taken. To say that this has changed the way they look at our town is an understatement. We are embarrassed and sorry that they see Clearwater in such a bad light. They will not be bringing their clients to Wells Gray in the future and this is a loss of revenue for the town.

We are offering a reward for any information leading to the recovery of the stolen goods.

The thieves took:

1) A black IBM Thinkpad 17 computer with government of Alberta stickers on it. It was in a black and red leather case.

2) Asolo day pack – 10 litre, black

3) 2 pairs of Solomon Trail Running shoes – red/black size 9/blue/gray size 7

4) Dark green ArcTeryx hiking pants and other miscellaneous items.

The laptop is a personal business laptop and the owners need it back in order to run their business, pay the mortgage and raise the kids.  They need this computer back as soon as possible. The owner of the journal values it highly – it could be of no use to the person who took it. If you know where these items are, please call me at 250 587-6444.  If you are a parent and have noticed any items like this with your kids, please find out where they came from.  This is a slippery slope for all of us.  Thank you.

Ian Eakins

Blackpool, B.C.