Sylvan Lake RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in finding the person responsible for vandalizing a helicopter near Eckville late last week.
Police say an unknown individual or individuals caused extensive damage to a helicopter parked at a location northwest of Eckville at some point between 4:30 p.m. Oct. 17 and 8 a.m. Oct. 18.
Damage was caused to both the helicopter’s interior and exterior. It will now remain grounded until it’s fully inspected and repaired.
Police weren’t sure exactly how much damage had been caused to the unit, but said it could range widely — from $1,000 to $100,000. A complete mechanical inspection will reveal the total extent.
The helicopter is worth more than half a million dollars, police say. It’s been used recently to construct transmission lines in the area.
Several items were also stolen from the site, including important pieces of the helicopter.
“Had this helicopter taken off, the pilot and passenger’s lives would have been placed in great danger,” read an RCMP media release issued Sunday. “As such, police are treating this vandalism as very serious.”
The culprit or culprits responsible could be charged with anything from Theft and Mischief to Mischief Endangering Life — the latter of which could result in a maximum punishment of life in prison.
Anyone with information on the crime is asked to contact the Sylvan Lake RCMP at 403-887-3333, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
A reward may be offered, should information provided lead to an arrest and conviction.