Surrey prankster given probation

Teen caused thousands of dollars damage to North Vancouver businesses

A Surrey teen has been given two years probation for an expensive prank he pulled in North Vancouver.

The young offender, whose name cannot be published, was found guilty on 12 counts of ‘Conveying False Messages,’ a rarely used charge under the Criminal Code of Canada.

The ruling comes as a result of prank phone calls place to North Vancouver businesses between Feb. 11 and Feb. 13, this year.

The teen, posing as sprinkler maintenance worker and also as a fire marshal, convinced several businesses, including fast food restaurants and hotels to activate their fire sprinkler systems.

Damage was in the thousands of dollars.

Along with the two-year intensive support and supervision probation order, the youth must adhere to the following conditions:

have no contact or go to a total of 12 North Vancouver businesses

not to possess a cell phone or mobile device

not to possess or consume alcohol or drugs

to be placed under House Arrest and not to go outside except with prior written permission of a Probation Officer

“There is a strong message here to anyone who may think of using prank calls as a means of irresponsible entertainment” states North Vancouver Cpl. Richard De Jong. “What may appear to be fun and innocent can quickly turn into a Criminal Offence, where people’s lives, community resources and personal property are at jeopardy.”It is possible the teen could also face civil action to cover the costs of the damage he caused.

@diakiw