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)

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)

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)

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

Just Posted

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Colwood Fire Department

Saanich-based St. Luke’s Players community theatre company has been making the most of their opportunities to keep busy during the pandemic, including staging a Christmastime panto of Alice in Wonderland on Zoom. (Courtesy St. Luke’s Players)
Saanich’s St. Luke’s Players: Bringing the stage to the people

Community theatre company holding online auditions Jan. 23-24 for March production

Frank Bourree was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction for his leadership in the business community. (Courtesy of Frank Bourree)
Frank Bourree receives award of distinction from Victoria chamber

Award recognizes positive role model in business community

The Habitat for Humanity Meaning of Home contest is open to students in Grades 5 to 6. (Screenshot/Habitat for Humanity video)
Habitat for Humanity launches national writing contest

Entries accepted from students in Grades 4 to 6 until Feb. 19

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read