NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — When UBC student Brynn Weigelt came off Grouse Mountain she says she found her Jeep, which has Ontario licence plates, had been keyed — a nasty, hand-written note stuck on the drivers’ side door.
The 20-year-old is from a suburb of Ottawa, but has been going to UBC for the last two years.
She says when she walked into the parking lot she noticed the piece of paper immediately.
“I thought maybe I got a parking ticket but usually they leave those on the dashboard,” she tells NEWS 1130, adding when she read it she found an upsetting message.
“In big capital letters, it said, ‘Go home and stay home,'” she says. ‘Photos of the note show the words ‘go’ and ‘stay’ were heavily underlined.
“When I turned to the passenger side of my car and the entire passenger side door was just keyed, all scratched up.”
Photos of the note show the words ‘go’ and ‘stay’ were heavily underlined.
According to ICBC, full-time students from other provinces do not need to get a B.C. licence, or insure their vehicle in this province while they are studying.
Weigelt says reports of cars with out-of-province plates being vandalized last year put her on edge.
“I have UBC stickers on my car, and Whistler stickers, and British Columbia like all over my car, because when the pandemic first started, I heard about people doing this sort of thing and I was worried that my car would be the next victim,” she explains.
“I guess that everybody is really frustrated about the pandemic, that some people are still visiting places that they shouldn’t be. But I don’t think that it’s right to make assumptions and take it out in such a violent way, it’s not accomplishing anything at all. It’s really dividing Canadians.”
In a Facebook post, Weigelt says she understands people feel anxious or angry if they think people are travelling into their communities for a vacation or other non-essential reasons.
“I get it, no one wants ‘outsiders” visiting their cities right now because of COVID-19 but really? KEYING MY CAR? Stop making assumptions. An out of province plate doesn’t mean an anti-masking, super spreading traveler,” she writes.
“Everyone’s trying their best, and there are better ways to go about things than destroying someone else’s property. Have conversations with people, stay home, do the best that you can, but don’t get angry with people when you don’t even know their full story.”
She says it’s the first time she’s really felt unwelcome in B.C.
“It does make me feel out of place here now, and I thought that I was just starting to welcome my second home.”
Weigelt has made a report to the North Vancouver RCMP, and Grouse Mountain is reviewing security footage to see if the person who vandalized her car was caught on tape.
With files from Paul James