The RCMP is investigating a break-in and vandalism at the Orenda Canoe Club in Lake Echo sometime overnight Easter Sunday into Monday. The Club is in the middle of a large-scale renovation to add a second floor and double the size of the original building’s footprint. The Club posted the following information on its Facebook site about the incident and the RCMP’s investigation:
“Overnight Easter Sunday in to Monday, vandals broke in to the club and caused a significant amount of damage. The vandalism efforts included destruction of property, graffiti in many forms, including derogatory terms insulting the African Nova Scotian Community, drawing of inappropriate pictures on many surfaces inside, and the depiction of anti-Semitic symbols.
“We are very fortunate that the perpetrators were not successful in their arson efforts, or the entire club likely would have been lost, and mostly all other vandalism efforts were either repairable or could be cleaned up, but much damage and disruption, nonetheless.
“Many club members, families and athletes mobilized on Monday and spent the entire day cleaning and repairing damage and trying to better secure the facility for the future.
“The club was vacated at approximately 6pm on Monday after a very long day of clean-up efforts. During the brief 30-minute vacancy, the perpetrators broke in again. However, this time we may have contained the damage as we returned to the club fairly quickly, and likely scared them off as we returned. Only to find the door wide open, lights on and obvious efforts to restart the vandalism efforts again.
“We remained onsite as the RCMP returned for a second time to gather further evidence, this time with the aid of a police K9 unit. Part of this evidence gathering will include reviewing footage from a nearby surveillance camera we suspect the perpetrators were unaware of.
“Please note.... club members, athletes and other community members nearby, have speculated and believe strongly that they are aware of who has conducted this crime, but Orenda Canoe Club is leaving the investigation to the RCMP, and do not want to encourage anyone to participate in vigilantly justice. We are confidant the RCMP will locate the perpetrators and apply the appropriate charges given the extent of the damage and destruction this cowardly act created over the Easter Weekend.”