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Armed robbery charges laid


News briefs from the Squamish RCMP and Squamish Fire Rescue:

A man alledgely carrying a weapon tried to hold up the Valleycliffe General Store late in the evening on Aug. 4. Cpl. Dave Ritchie said the suspect was arrested in the Downtown area many hours after the incident at the store.

Ritchie said two people were involved in the alledged crime, one in the store and another driving a get-away vehicle.The main suspect made a court appearance a few days after the incident and was released on a promise to appear again on Sept. 12.

Ritchie said two witnesses indicated the main suspect was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Charged with armed robbery is 18-year-old Duncan Leslie Smears of Squamish.

The driver of the vehicle involved in the crime is still at large and Ritchie said police are looking for him.

Dumpster blazes

Two garbage bins were set on fire in the early morning hours of Aug. 11.

Firefighter Bob Fulton said the first report of a dumpster on fire came at 1:15 a.m. The bin behind Shoppers Drug Mart was on fire.

Another call came at 5 a.m. when the dumpster behind the youth resource centre on Carson Place was ablaze.Fulton said Squamish Fire Rescue (SFR) is reminding business owners, especially those in the Downtown and Business Park areas to keep their garbage bins away from buildings and locked at night to prevent structure fires.

Playground equipment burned

Valleycliffe Elementary School students won't be getting their new playground equipment on schedule.

The unassembled parts of the new playground equipment caught fire in the School District works yard.

Nancy Edwards, Secretary/Treasurer with the School District, said it isn't clear if the fire was set or if the heat from the sun through the packaging caused ignition.

The equipment was valued at $3,200. Edwards said the school district is paying a $2,500 insurance deductible to replace the damaged goods.

Wildfire feared from vehicle fire

A potentially dangerous mix of dry forest and a vehicle burning out of control caused SFR members to soak a portion of the forest along the Garibaldi Park Road on Sunday (Aug. 14).

The call came in at 3:30 p.m.

The driver tried to put out the fire but didn't succeed.

Firefighter Fulton said the vehicle was fully involved when SFR members arrived on the scene, said Fulton.

The vehicle was extinguished, nearby trees were watered to prevent a flare up in the forest and a bigger problem was avoided.

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