This was the state of a hayfield in Central Saanich after two youths spun their pick up trucks across it Saturday night. Longview Farms estimates the damage to be in the thousands. (Facebook/Longview Farms)

Youths face possible criminal charges after doing doughnuts in a Central Saanich hay field

Longview Farms estimates the damage to be in the thousands of dollars

Central Saanich Police Department is recommending charges of criminal mischief against two 17-year-old boys from North Saanich after they spun their pick-up trucks across a local hay-growing field Saturday night.

Deputy Chief Derren Lench of CSPS said a third boy from Sidney accompanied the duo, but won’t face any charges because he was a passenger in one of the vehicles. All three attend local high schools and have no prior criminal record.

“It seems to be innocuous, but unfortunately, it causes a lot of damage for local farms,” he said.

Ryan Vantreight, general manager of Longview Farms, said staff are still assessing the damage that the trio caused, but current estimates peg the damage in the thousands of dollars.

“There are two separate parts to this,” he said. “There is the loss of income from the bales of hay that we sell to the local community, as well as the [cost] of repairing and re-seeding the field,” he said. The farm also stands to lose one future season of sales, he added.

RELATED: Central Saanich police respond to variety of crimes in May, from murder to mischief

For Vantreight, Saturday’s incident was not a case of boys being boys. “This is not something that should happen,” he said. “It’s not a source of fun. Go have fun somewhere else. There are many other ways to have fun.”

Incidents of this sort have and will continue to impact the livelihood of farmers, he said, a point the farm made earlier on its Facebook page. “It has far reaching effects that make an already challenging industry harder to manage,” it reads. “This is a direct attack on farmers and their livelihood and needs to stop. It needs to stop now.”

Vantreight became aware of the situation after neighbours spotted the youths Saturday night after the vehicles got stuck in the dirt and mud. Tow trucks and police eventually responded to the scene.

“This happens to all farmers in the area, one time or another, depending on where they are situated,” said Vantreight. “There have been incidents off Lochside Drive, there have been incidents off Wallace Drive.”

Lench says local police deal with a couple of comparable cases every year.

“I don’t recall Longview, but it usually happens every year on Michell Farms,” he said.

Vantreight hopes the incident will bring about a change in attitude.

“I really don’t think that the kids, who went in there, thought, ‘we are going to stick it to a farmer,’” he said. “I think they just didn’t have that light bulb come on. They didn’t realize until they got caught how serious this was.”

This said, one of the youth seems to have experienced one such moment, albeit with some help.

“One of the youths came this morning when we opened our doors to meet me face-to-face and apologize,” said Vantreight. “He was escorted by his parents. But those kinds of things do have an impact. Unfortunately, it is too late. But I do believe that the experience that these youths have had will impact others, because I know that these two vehicles are not the only two vehicles that do this type of thing on the Peninsula. They are just the ones that got caught.”

If convicted, possible penalties for criminal mischief include prison, probation with community work, a fine, or restitution.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Central Saanich’s Longview Farms stands to lose thousands of dollars after two North Saanich youths gauged a hayfield with their pick up trucks Saturday night. (Facebook/Longview Farms)

Just Posted

Thief steals donation box, tip jar from Oak Bay businesses

Oak Bay Police Department looking for suspect

Dog dies, Victoria man arrested after incident in Oaklands

Police called to ‘incident between a man and a dog’ Monday afternoon

George Jay parents tired of dog poop left on school’s fields

Parents advocate for stronger fines, more signage in the neighbourhood

Booms go up in Gorge Creek after hydrocarbon spill

The source of the spill is being investigated

VIDEO: Greater Victoria mom shares ‘insane’ experience of viral dinosaur video

Tabitha Cooper filmed her costumed sons meeting their grandma at the Victoria International Airport

Skier dies at Fernie Alpine Resort

It’s the second person to die in a tree well at a ski resort in B.C. in the past week.

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

Vancouver Island home to one of Canada’s largest private skateboard collections

Eric Pinto owns hundreds of boards, spanning multiple decades

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Most Read