Vandalism could be prevented with education, councillor says

Two Pickering teens were arrested after 19 bus shelters in Scarborough were damaged, according to Durham Police.

Toronto police received a call just past midnight on Sept. 4, and discovered vandalized bus shelters near Sheppard Avenue East and McCowan Road. A TTC bus and several bus shelters in Ajax and Pickering were also damaged.

The teens, both 17, are now facing 47 counts of mischief. In addition to the bus shelter vandalism, police said the teens are also connected to 13 cases of damaged cars back in August.

The damages could also be costing taxpayers money, as the city may be covering the cost of repairs of the bus shelters. City councillor Chin Lee said some people believe the teenagers’ parents should pay the bill, which is expected to be over $10,000.

Lee added that police are looking into installing more security cameras around the city in order to catch culprits. But to Lee, community involvement is vital.

“The young offenders were caught, but we need people to keep an eye open, and at least yell at them,” Lee said. “But be careful, because they could turn on you.”

Lee also said there should be more focus on prevention. He said children should be taught from a young age that it is not acceptable for people to deface or destroy public property.

Lee is planning to meet with school trustees about implementing preventative education.