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

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Homes fit for royals for sale in North Saanich

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have returned to Greater Victoria

Gold Rush star dons Lucky Lager shirt in latest episode

Brennan Ruault, originally from Invermere, joined the show in the sixth season

VIDEO: Dashcam records near-miss by bad driver near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

VIDEO: Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Activists want Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs demands to be upheld, observed and respected

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Police suspect foul play in Cowichan Tribes death

Police are looking at foul play in relation to a death on… Continue reading

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

Most Read