250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 11:16 pm

Attempted Dino Theft at Exploration Place

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 @ 11:05 AM

Prince George, B.C. – As far as acts of vandalism goes, this one will surely go down as one of the most prehistoric.dino

This after after an attempted theft of a dinosaur – a Velociraptor – from The Exploration Place sometime over the weekend.

CEO Tracy Calogheros says the science museum purchased the life sized dino about a year ago for the Urban Garden in Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.

“We special ordered it, it took forever to come in. Somebody decided I guess that they had a better home for it then we did.”

She says when the vandals realized they couldn’t steal the dinosaur, they trashed it instead, damaging the fencing that surrounded it in the process.

“I don’t even know if we can fix it. We’ve got some great artists here at the museum and that’s our only hope really for repair.”

Calogheros says it happened sometime between last Friday and Monday and notes the dinosaur is worth over $1,500.

She’s filed a report with the RCMP and is now considering putting up wire fencing.

“It’s so frustrating and we’ve had vandals and thieves target that garden in other years and it’s an important installation in the park. The community loves it, the kids are learning so much about urban gardening and yet it’s become a constant problem for us.”




A security camera could have been had for about a tenth of the cost of the damage . A socially responsible security company making money in PG could get some really good local PR by stepping up to the plate .

Good idea, but a camera would not have prevented the incident, unless you are intimating that the presence of a camera would discourage low lifes from tampering with the display.

    It works a few different ways . It intimidates the bright ones with signage . It catches idiots . It lowers your insurance costs . Win ,win , win . It also makes you feel proactive . As it stands now the museum a victim .

We have several high resolution cameras on the exterior of the Museum and alarms on our outlying buildings. The problem with cameras is that even when we have the thieves or vandals on camera there always seems to be a reason that the images aren’t “good enough” for prosecution. Heck, when we first installed cameras outside they were stolen! I’m not even kidding! I can’t use motion sensors on the garden because it’s outdoors. I would be happy to have more cameras but how far out into the Park do I need them? They are expensive and to marry them to my monitored system at the building is a technical challenge as well. I’m frustrated for sure. Any and all ideas are welcome!

    I hear that, most people who do not deal with surveillance systems do not understand the limitations. Our system has the same issue, how do you identify a couple guys in dark hoodies at night on a camera they are 100 feet away from? Not the same issue in the middle of the day when the sun is at the right angle.

    I find the best use of our system is to see how an incident happened to prevent it in the future – not so much to catch the perp.

      If the area is one that can be considered strictly off limits, a system that sprays the intruders with an indelible substance that is not harmful, such as ninhydrin, will render them identifiable.

      I once tried to get a close up picture with a Rizal statue in Manila that was surrounded by a small fence to keep people out, but I figured its only a picture… soon as I set foot inside the fence I got pepper spray in the eyes from an automated system. I was pissed right off and wasn’t going to try that one again. My wife thought it was the funniest thing, but it wasn’t funny at all.

How is the lighting at the urban garden? Suggest motion detecting spotlights, as vandals are less likely to cause damage while they are under some good bright lights. These a-holes love the cover of darkness.

    That’s a great idea!

They might get a Dinosaurass if they get caught.

Having a security company make two or three passes a night might also help. Not sure what the cost would be, but might be worth checking out.

Seems to me that the City used private security for years to patrol their buildings, not sure if they still do.

Instead of a reproduction, get a real velociraptor.

Unfortunately I’m not at all surprised that somebody or somebodies tried to steal or vandalize this dinosaur.

What does surprise me is that the people who considered both the purchase of and the location for the dinosaur didn’t consider this!

    If we wasted too much of our time trying to anticipate what the lowest common denominator of behaviour might do to our creations, we’d never do anything but stay jailed up in our homes.

    I mean come on, surveillance in our parks! Doesn’t anyone see a problem with that? It’s too bad that there are people who have no respect for anything but we can’t let it spoil the spirit of the intention that went into putting the raptor there in the first place. Let’s fix or replace the velociraptor statue. I’ll gladly chip in to help pay for it, just give me the opportunity and tell me when or where.

    Hart Guy, the elections over you don’t need to throw out personal attacks anymore.

    We should be able to have stuff on display and not have to worry that someone is going to steal it or destroy it. I for one am not going to live in fear of that.

    Hopefully someone saw them and they get caught for what they did.

      Dave, first of all how does this have anything to do with elections?

      Secondly, I wasn’t personally attacking anyone! I was and am surprised that the possibility, the very real possibility of vandalism might not have been considered as seriously as it might have been, if it was even considered in the first place!

      Third and lastly, while I agree that we should be able to have stuff on display without worrying abut theft or vandalism, the reality suggests otherwise. Seriously, do you not think that putting a dinosaur on display outdoors and to some degree accessible is not going to attract the wrong kind of attention! I wish it was otherwise, but sadly it isn’t!

Ignore Hart Guy’s comment Tracy, some people think they have to put others down to build themselves up.

    Peeps dat ewe?

    JGalt, it was not my intention to put anyone down! I posted what I considered to be a reasonable comment.

    Thank you for stepping up to the plate to offer support(?) for Tracy!

    JGalt, I sometimes forget how sensitive you are and if I hurt your feelings in any way, even just a teeny weensy little bit, please accept my heartfelt apology!

    You did pick up on my sarcasm, didn’t you?

I get where Hart Guy is coming from, he thinks I put no thought into the security for the garden, but he’s wrong. I’ve been working towards increasing public use of that corner of the park for decades and security has always been a key challenge. In the 90’s it was the school house, tower and train station that bore the brunt of the damages, so we worked to remove concealing hedges and upgrade lighting in the parking lot. Just after the renovations in 2001 we started having problems with vandals smashing the windows in the atrium, cue the installation of exterior security cameras. Almost immediately the security cameras were stolen, next step, have the cameras wired to the alarms so that they too are monitored 24 hours a day. In the 23 years I’ve been working there, the park has been the site of arson, car thieves, break ins and a variety of other misdemeanors. The Museum is an anchor in a key community space; everyone is welcome and most of the time, everyone is respectful. Part of our job is to enrich Lheidli Park. Adding the velociraptor was a calculated risk. We bolted it down, put it behind fencing and invited the community to enjoy it. (Just because it’s valued at over $1500 doesn’t mean I paid retail for it by the way.) If we want to have an open and inviting park then it must be open and inviting. It needs interesting things to spark the imagination; creative programming and activities that inspire. When it comes right down to it, I generally believe in people’s capacity to do good. This act was a selfish, short-sighted one, perpetrated by one (or a few) individuals who think that their needs supercede those of the entire community. Letting people like that set the tone for our decisions and interactions with each other won’t move us ahead, rather, repairing the damages these few do, shows our children that being bullied, or allowing others to be bullied is wrong. I appreciate the offers of help, my staff tell me that they think they can repair “Precious” (the kids named him) and hopefully when he goes back out into the Garden he will have many more opportunities to appear in people’s selfies.

    Well done Ms. Calogheros. I think we can all appreciate that you and your staff do a good job, and you’re right, the park, and special displays such as the ‘raptor statue need to remain open and inviting.

    Most people are decent and good, it is a minority of our society who would vandalize or steal.

    I hope to see “Precious” back on display again real soon.

Well said madam ! I still think that the security people that live and make they livings in the community dropped the ball . This is their community as well . Or are they not up to the task ?

Tracy, I have had the privilege of visiting the museum and also of taking out of town guests to the museum on a number of occasions! I do (I really do) appreciate the facility and the work of you and all who work there.

However, I am concerned that while “Precious” is very much appreciated by the children, the litany of ongoing security issues including vandalism and theft point to future problems with those that might attempt to kidnap or destroy “Precious”!

Leaving “Precious” along at night, outside and in the dark seems like an open invitation to those that might want to take liberties with him!

I don’t run the museum Tracy, that’s your job! However, as someone who would like to see “Precious” have more and ongoing opportunities to appear in children’s selfies, might I suggest that you consider another option for “Precious”?

From the small photo of “Precious” at the top of this story, one might conclude that “Precious” is small enough to fit through the museum’s front doors. Perhaps “Precious” could be securely mounted to some sort of low level small wheel mounted platform, cart or dolly of some sort. The garden might have a small space left open where “Precious” could be wheeled out in the morning and then back into the lobby area at night! Some sort of chain or lock could secure the platform and “Precious” during the day and both the chain and platform could be hidden by some potted plants! This would allow “Precious” to even come in from the rain or snow!

Just a suggestion and you won’t certainly won’t hurt my feelings if you disregard it or have already considered something like this and decided against it!

HG, you might have missed this:”CEO Tracy Calogheros says the science museum purchased the life sized dino about a year ago for the Urban Garden in Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.”

The velociraptor is not at the Exploration Place building itself but apparently some distance away from it at the Urban Garden. The misfits tried to steal it and damaged the fencing around it. Obviously the intent is to have it on display all the time, I’m reading that the damage occurred over the weekend.

Let us not get bullied into trundling it all the way back to the Museum every night and keeping it inside and out of sight!

    “Precious” got beat up on the weekend. I’d be interested to know when “Precious” was actually installed in the Urban Garden?

    I’d like to optimistically wish “Precious” well, but the realist in me suggests that it will be a challenge to keep him safe!

    That’s just my opinion!

I just wonder what the hell they figured they were going to do with it if they were successful?

    Let’s not go there .

Seen a guy asking customers leaving Save On at Spruceland the other day, asking them for change. In between asking people for change he was surfing the net on his smart phone and having smokes. Gets a small handful of change from one lady then lights up a smoke and walks down the mall throwing out little pieces of paper like candy wrappers on the side walk the whole way….

We got all kinds of clueless people in this town.

Comments for this article are closed.