A homeless man pulls his cart full of possesions past the entrance to Vernon Restholm. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Okanagan vagrancy, crime continues to upset

Senior home victim of crime again, other residents share fears

As crime continues to concern Vernon’s senior residents, enforcement remains a top priority for police.

After a knife-wielding man tried to break into the Vernon Restholm this summer, the retirement residence has suffered further upset.

A shuttle bus was broken into recently, breaking the door which is costing the Restholm, on top of other expensive protective measures that have been put in place.

“We just installed a new front door entry system that requires our residents to use key fobs to gain entry and all guests must use the new intercom/video system we had installed, to gain entry,” said Jerry Tellier, Vernon Restholm manager.

“It cost us $7,000, that hurts financially due to the fact we have severe creek issues and costs.”

RCMP did catch the suspect in both incidents.

READ MORE: Knife-wielding man tries to break into Vernon retirement home

And safety of the city’s citizens remains a priority.

“These are people we care about in our community,” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Supt. Shawna Baher.

But the city’s seniors aren’t the only ones sick of the drug paraphernalia and unsavoury behaviour around town.

“We, the neighbors on 35th Avenue are completely frustrated, annoyed and fearful of homeless people at and around the entire Rec. Centre,” said one neighbour (whose identity is withheld for protective purposes).

Along with finding needles, other drug paraphernalia and even feces in the area, residents and those taking part in the recreation complex programs are subject to people screaming and exhibiting unusual behaviour. This neighbour suggests the centre needs 24/7 security.

“To not feel safe on your private property is very unnerving, we are done, exhausted to see and hear this continual problem,” said the concerned resident, who appreciates bylaw officers attending. “But they can only do so much.”

She adds: “Our downtown is in great need of someway getting it safe and cleaned up.”

“This is a terrible issue indeed.”


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