Surrey teen arrested in costly prank calls to North Vancouver businesses

Duping people to trigger fire sprinklers caused $100,000 damage

A 16-year-old from Surrey is facing 19 charges in relation to several prank phone calls that resulted in about $100,000 in damage to North Vancouver businesses last month.

The offences took place from Feb. 11-13, when the teen allegedly made calls from an internet phone to the hotels and restaurants. North Vancouver RCMP were first alerted when an employee at a North Vancouver hotel called for assistance.

Later, police believe the same prank caller shifted his attention to fast food restaurants in the area, including Denny’s, A&W, McDonald’s and Subway.

Posing as a Fire Marshal, the caller convinced restaurant employees to activate sprinklers and foam suppression systems. The McDonald’s Restaurant at Marine Dr. and Pemberton Ave. reportedly suffered major water damage. The A&W on Marine Dr., meanwhile, was left with fire retardant foam all over its kitchen equipment.

North Vancouver RCMP said calls to hotel rooms were effective, in part, because they are filled with foreign tourists who may be less aware the request was unusual.

The teen, who is known to the police for similar offences, was arrested in Nanaimo on a warrant stemming from an unrelated investigation in Surrey.

North Vancouver RCMP are recommending 19 counts of false messages under the criminal code that makes it an offence to place phone calls or initiate other communications that create an alarm or nuisance.

He will be held at a youth detention centre until he appears in court to answer to the North Vancouver charges.

~with files from Greg Hoekstra


Just Posted

UPDATE: Rockslide keeps Coquihalla northbound lane closed

Highway 5 is closed in one direction.

Meet the Retrogrades: Delta school administrators’ band moving from cover songs to original material

Original songs “the next level” for band with a solid repertoire of music from more than 40 artists

Langley’s Tardi takes gold in junior national curling competition

Four local boys are on their way to Scotland after winning their second Canadian title in as many years.

ZYTARUK: Only the truth, and nothing but

Lying hurts all of us. You, me, them. All of us.

Langley junior curling champs defend title in Quebec

Defeat of their cousin’s team has secured Tardi brothers and the rest of the team in today’s finals.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

5 to start your day

Wind storm causes weekend power outages, thousands join women’s marches, and more

A look at potential Canadian nominees for this year’s Oscars

The nominations are to be revealed Tuesday morning for the 90th Academy Awards

B.C. expert weighs in on why kids are eating Tide pods for fun

Why are kids taking part in something completely pointless yet so risky?

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Most Read