Vandalism shocks welding shop owners

Eric McCarthy
Published on June 16, 2014

UNIONVALE – A Unionvale couple is still reeling from the shock of vandals running amok at their home and business Saturday morning.

June Easter says she was jolted awake some time after 1:30 a.m. by the sound of breaking glass in her dining room. That, she speculates, was the “wake-up call” from vandals who had already committed thousands of dollars of property damage in the Western Welding shop she and her husband Vance own, and to vehicles parked out front.

RCMP are still investigating the incident.

In the welding shop hose lines were cut on two portable welders, paint was poured on tools, equipment and welding projects, and tanks for the welders were turned on.

June Easter said she is still taking inventory to determine what might be missing, but she admits damage in the shop is likely in the thousands of dollars.

Vandals, however, didn’t stop there. They smashed windows out of two farm tractors used for winter snowblowing contracts. Hose lines were cut on one of the tractors. Windows and windshields were smashed in the company’s welding truck and two other vehicles in the yard and a cruiser-style speedboat also sustained damage.

Windows on the side of the building and in the shop door were smashed.

Only some of the loss is covered by insurance.

The incident has left Vance Easter frustrated, because he said an accident nearly 33 months ago has left him unable to protect his family from such attacks. He had spent more than a year in hospital after a piece of slag ruptured a hose line, turning it into a flame-thrower, leaving him severely burned, and with mobility problems and limited vision.

Although devastated by the attack, the couple said they are finding comfort in the outpouring of support from members of the community.

Some of the spilled paint is still on the shop floor. June Easter reasons it will be easier to clean up once it dries. She is still obtaining estimates on the cost of repairs.