Car owner nabs vandals
'57 Chevy gets rough introduction to area youth

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

NNSL (Sep 25/98) - Three area youth who decided to ease their boredom by vandalizing a vintage automobile this past Sunday picked the wrong car owner to mess with.

Jay Pickering had brought the vintage '57 Chevy, a two-door station wagon, one of only 300 in existence, to Yellowknife from Alberta for restoration.

He had the vehicle parked on a car dolly by the Monkey Tree restaurant when the three kids happened along.

"They just came along and decided to throw a couple of rocks through the front windshield," said Pickering.

"They also threw a paint canister into the car through an open side window and poured paint over the outside of the car."

Pickering said he had only left the car unattended for about 15 minutes before returning to haul it back to the body shop.

"I don't know what they were thinking, other than maybe they thought it was an old car with no value and decided to damage it."

Pickering, who teaches a high school automotive class, said this type of random destruction is a particularly sore spot for him.

He said Sir John Franklin high school, where he teaches, had more than $17,000 worth of vandalism done to vehicles in its automotive program last year.

"It just seems to be a wave of senseless destruction. We had several vehicles written off due to youth vandalism.

"It does seem to be a little better this year, but we've seen too much of this stuff."

Pickering estimated replacing the windshield in his '57 Chevy will run him about $300 or $400.

The rest of the damage, he said, is cosmetic and won't cost him much more than a lot of time to clean up.

"It's the senselessness of the act and the indifference of the youth involved that upsets me," said Pickering.

The teacher was able to come to an agreement with the kids' parents, so there won't be any charges involved in the incident.

Pickering and his brother were able to apprehend two of the three youth involved and hold them until the police arrived.

He said the three weren't exactly the most co-operative kids in Yellowknife.

"We caught one in an old-fashioned foot chase and then I went back, got my truck and drove around the block.

"When I came back into the parking lot, one kid was hiding between one of the cars taunting my brother.

"I just drove up slowly behind him, got out of the truck and he ran right into me, so it was kind of a comical end to the whole thing."