Two suspects arrested last month in a series of attempted break-ins from West Kootenay automated teller machines aren’t facing charges in one incident because of faulty security equipment.

Darrin Christopher Hoffman, 38, and Julian Alexander Hoekstra, 36, were picked up last month in Osoyoos and Surrey on separate days. They’re accused of breaking into the ATMs and night deposit boxes in South Slocan, Slocan Park, and Trail.

However, RCMP Staff Sgt. Dan Seibel says there “wasn’t sufficient evidence” to lay charges against them in the break-in at the ATM at the Castlegar airport.

“Their surveillance system was not working properly at the time,” he says. In the other cases, the suspects and their vehicle were caught on video.

The airport heist was also the only one in which money was actually taken.



Local prorgrams aimed at reducing human-bear conflicts are expected to receive $15,000 again this year from the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

That amount has been included in the RDCK budget, and will be split equally between five different programs, according to regional Bear Aware co-ordinator Joanne Siderius.

The Nelson, Castlegar, and Kaslo Bear Aware programs will benefit, as will the Selkirk Purcell grizzly bear project and a Valhalla Wilderness Society program.

Siderius says it’s the third or fourth year they’ve received money from the regional district, “and thank goodness, because initially I was going to the City of Nelson for funding and never getting it. They wanted me to apply to the regional district, which I did.”

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