Mounties are investigating a rash of break-ins at Johnsons Landing – the site of the massive landslide last year that killed four people.
Between March 11 and 16, thieves, or possibly a lone thief, hit four unoccupied buildings on the potentially unstable slope in the southeastern B.C. community about 70 kilometres northeast of Nelson, Kaslo RCMP say.
They first targeted a residence and garage on Holmgren Road – the property where Valentine Webber, 60, and his two daughters, Diana, 22, and Rachel, 17, were found in the weeks after the July 12 landslide. There, they stole an older riding mower, a table saw and an air compressor, Mounties said.
Police believe the thieves then navigated through slide debris to a residence on McNichol Road, where the owner reported missing a snow plow blade for his ATV, assorted hand tools, a twin mattress, about 200 records, one laptop and one desktop computer.
A third property owner on Holmgren Road is still assessing what was stolen.
“Kaslo RCMP are currently reviewing the overall situation with the Regional District of Central Kootenay and the property owners,” the two detachments said in a joint news release issued on Tuesday. “It is indeed extremely unfortunate that, not only were property owners victimized by the original slide, but eight months later are victimized again by criminals stealing their property.”
The devastating landslide came after a month of heavy rain, sending a torrent of mud, rocks and trees down the hillside. The bodies of Valentine and Diana Webber were located in the following days; Rachel Webber’s body about a week later.
There was no reasonable likelihood of locating the fourth victim, 64-year-old German national Petra Frehse, the B.C. Coroner’s Service said.