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Canmore businesses have windows shot out, police investigating

“There’s a lot of people who walk through the area. … If you have someone taking target practice, it’s not very comforting.”

CANMORE – There were no injuries after two Canmore businesses had multiple windows shot out early Friday morning (Nov. 17) by slingshot ammunition typically used for hunting.

Castle Mountain Home Furnishings and Canmore Flooring Company had eight windows and doors on their storefronts broken after at least two dozen 3/8” bullets were found on site.

“No one was hurt, but somebody firing a weapon at our building is a little concerning for staff working and using the parking lot,” said Jeff Belinger, owner of Castle Mountain Home Furnishings. “There’s a lot of people who walk through the area. … If you have someone taking target practice, it’s not very comforting.”

Belinger said he learned of it when he arrived at the Railway Avenue location at roughly 8:30 a.m. After speaking to owners at Canmore Flooring Company, they discovered both businesses had multiple broken windows and doors along their storefronts.

Belinger said in Castle Mountain Home Furnishings has been at the location for the past 42 years, they’ve had break-ins – with nothing missing this incident – “but this was different. This was someone taking target practice on our building.”

Darren Hillier, co-owner of Canmore Flooring Company, said he had a call from a customer at about 8 a.m. about the front door being shattered.

When he got to work, he saw the damage and suspected it had been a rock. It was when the sales manager mentioned more significant window damage to the business and the company’s minivan that realized the full scope of damage.

Hillier said they found more than a dozen of the 3/8” slingshot ammunition at the front of their building. The company’s minivan also had its back window shot out and other damage to the vehicle’s body.

Multiple double-pane windows had the initial pane shot out, with the ammunition breaking clear through the doors.

“Obviously there was more intent involved in this when it’s multiple panes of glass, multiple doors and our company minivan was targeted,” Hillier said. “You know someone had fired multiple times and it wasn’t a random thing. It’s more frustrating to walk into than anything else because there’s not a lot we can do.”

Paul Hurley, co-owner of Canmore Flooring Company, said it was good no one was hurt since “if someone was down here, it could’ve been a mess.”

RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Troy Savinkoff said Canmore RCMP are investigating and no arrests have been made.

Savinkoff said anyone with information or video surveillance should contact Canmore RCMP or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

The Outlook spoke to area businesses, but none had damaged property.

Hurley and Hillier said they originally thought it had been done with a high-powered air rifle, but the ammunition matches up with the same used by a hunting slingshot.

Belinger estimated the double pane glass would cost at least $1,000 each to replace in addition to Hurley and Hillier having to get repairs on the company minivan.

Though vandalism in any community is not uncommon, the use of ammunition is a rarity in the mountain town.

“It’s frustrating as a business owner to get vandalized,” Hillier said.

“It’s all replaceable, but you can see by the sheer power of the steel balls if anyone was walking by it would’ve been a lot more dangerous. That’s more of a concern than the glass.”