A University of Victoria student is warning motorists with out-of-province license plates to be vigilant after his tires were slashed last weekend.
Nigel Swab found the rear tires on his car, which has Alberta license plates, slashed Sunday afternoon. He posted pictures online and said he heard from at least two other drivers in the area – both with out-of-province license plates – who found their tires in the same condition.
“It was something I was concerned about at the beginning of the pandemic and kind of just went out of my mind,” he said. “I haven’t had too many issues with anyone showing anger towards me because of my plates.”
Swab, who has lived in Victoria for four years, isn’t required to change to B.C. registration as long as he is a full-time student.
He said he could be looking at $500 in replacement costs if an insurance claim proves too pricey.
“You’d think that someone would possibly think about the fact that we’re likely students,” he said. “But I mean, people are scared, people are stressed and it’s understandable … not everyone’s going to be thinking clearly.”
Tires were slashed on at least two vehicles with out-of-province plates in over the weekend, said Const. Markus Anastasiades. Both were in the 1700-block of Cedar Hill Cross Road, near UVic. These are the only reports the department has received of out-of-province vehicles having their tires slashed.
“We suspect that these vehicles were targeted based solely on their non-B.C. licence plates, which is extremely disappointing and not consistent with the kindness and community support we have seen here in Saanich over the course of the pandemic,” he said. “There are many legitimate reasons why out of province plates are seen here locally and we don’t know everyone’s story.”