Skeena Mall opened this morning after an evening of smashed glass and broken doors when a vehicle was driven through the doors at one end of the mall and out the doors at the opposite end Dec. 28.
Terrace RCMP have not provided any details yet but reportedly the driver was in police custody.
Skeena Mall staff put out a Facebook post about the incident afterward.
“There is a huge community wide, volunteer effort that is taking place right now to help clean up the damage that took place at the mall this evening,” staff wrote online.
“This evening, an individual drove a vehicle in one entrance of the mall and out the other. This individual is in police custody. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
“There was significant property damage to the entrances, particularly to the west entrance near Winners. As always, our first priority is public safety, and we are working diligently to get the mall cleaned up and repaired so that we can safely open.”
Skeena Mall property manager Amber Zanon said Dec. 29 that the driver went through the doors at the west end by Ardene and Winners, and out the east door near People’s Pharmacy.
Although she had not seen the damage firsthand, there was reportedly very little damage inside to the furniture and displays in the mall.
“I haven’t seen it with my own eyes but the individual hit a couch on the way in but then appeared to avoid obstacles from there on so our Santa display is still standing and unharmed,” she said.
Reports that the community was called out to help are incorrect, she added, saying that she talked to some people that she knew including business people who were able to bring some supplies to the mall. Help came from fire department staff, a local contractor, a person from Home Hardware who offered to open up the warehouse and provide plywood and a confidential shredding business who transported the plywood to the mall.
“I know there were some mall staff members there,” she said, referring to those who worked on cleanup that evening.
Although a number of people did offer to help clean up, it was politely declined due to safety reasons, she said.
“It’s so appreciated but we wanted to make sure it was safe. People were so kind.” she said.
Zanon couldn’t say how long the repairs would take to complete but the insurance company has been contacted.
“We’re there for the community and we intend to be open and be there for the community as long as it’s safe to do so and thank-you for your support,” said Zanon.
On Dec. 29 in the late morning, Cpl. Dave Tyreman, district advisory NCO media relations, issued a press release:
On December 28 at 7:39 p.m., the Terrace RCMP were responding to an assault that had occurred in the 2300 block of Kalum Street and the suspect had left in a white Ford truck.
Approximately one minute later, police received a call involving a white Ford truck that had driven through the Skeena Mall causing damage to two sets of doors.
While officers were attempting to locate the suspect vehicle, minutes later, RCMP Dispatch received another call regarding an individual who wandered into a local restaurant requesting someone to call police as he had just driven his truck through the Skeena Mall.
Officers attended the restaurant and arrested the suspect, a 22-year-old man of no fixed address without incident.
It was later confirmed that the suspect was indeed connected to the assault and causing damage at the Skeena Mall and that he had two outstanding warrants out of Alberta.
The suspect was held in custody to appear in provincial court sometime today.