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Vandals hit Goshen centre, ditch burnt-out truck

RCMP asking for public’s help locating suspects

  • February 1 2023
  • By Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter    

GOSHEN – Residents in northeastern Nova Scotia are still reeling after vandals hit everything from roadside mailboxes to a community hall during a highway spree that stretched from Antigonish to Goshen on Jan. 26.

Police are looking for an individual or individuals who are believed to have used a stolen Ford F-150 pickup truck — found burned and abandoned near Giants Lake early on Jan. 27 — to commit the crimes, Nova Scotia RCMP Public Information Officer, Cpl. Guillaume Tremblay, told The Journal in an interview on Monday (Jan. 30).

“The information and evidence our investigators located at that stolen truck leads [them] to believe that [its occupants] were directly involved with the vandalism of mail boxes in the Antigonish area,” as well as the Goshen Community Centre on Jan. 26.

In a subsequent email, he elaborated that, “At approximately 8 a.m. last Friday (Jan. 27), Guysborough County District RCMP responded to a report of a vehicle crash on South River Lake Rd. in Giants Lake. RCMP officers located, at the scene, a smouldering Ford F-150 that left the roadway and came to rest in the ditch. The vehicle was not occupied. The vehicle that was located had been reported stolen to the Richmond County District RCMP in September, 2022.

“The totality of evidence and information collected at the scene of the crash, the vandalized mailboxes in the area of Antigonish and vandalized community centre in Goshen does indicate that the incidents are related.”

Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s Deputy Warden James Fuller, who represents Goshen and the surrounding area, said the community remains shocked by the damage to their centre, which lost its front steps and most of its back door during the vandalism. “Those front steps were volunteer built. This is a meeting place for seniors, so good luck getting them in there with those steps down.”

He added that while the perpetrators did not “get to the accessibility ramp in the back … it looks like they tried to drive through the basement. It’s a terrible shame.”

Indeed, said area resident Roselyn McDermott, “It saddens me to see this done to our centre and surrounding properties. I moved back home to Goshen three years ago to get away from the chaos of city life. It’s disappointing to see this happen in rural Nova Scotia.”

Others on Facebook, where she posted pictures of the damage to the centre, agreed.

Said one: “I will never understand … What an absolutely terrible thing to do.”

Added another: “No need for … this. Hope they are caught and severely punished.”

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact the Antigonish County District RCMP at 902-863-6500 or Guysborough County District RCMP 902-533-3801. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submit a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.

Said Tremblay: “Every piece of information we receive, no matter how small of detail, is valuable and can be used to find those responsible.”