WATCH: Mike Barrett was a caretaker on property owned by 3L Developments near Courtenay. When he died last September, some of his ashes were placed in a painted propane tank used as a disc golf target on 3L Developments property. But that tank and 24 others were recently stolen.
The Comox Valley Disc Golf Club is wondering why it was the target of vandalism after about 24 targets, or tonals, were stolen from its course sometime over the last two weeks.
“Some of them were quite intricate pieces of artwork,” said Club president Jamie Branch.
The targets are decorated propane tanks that players shoot at and would be very recognizable. But inside one of the tanks was the ashes of a man name Mike Barrett, who was the caretaker of the land.
“I’m sure it’s possible the person didn’t know the ashes were inside but it would have been peculiar for them to see that when they took it,” added Branch.
Until recently, the disc golf course was on property just outside Courtenay owned by 3L Developments. The theft could be related to ongoing vandalism directed at the company that wants to develop a large swath of land it owns near Stotan Falls.
There’s been heated opposition to the residential plan by members of the public and it’s been thwarted by the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD).
3L and the CVRD have been fighting over it in court for years and the developer has won two court decisions after challenging the CVRD about due process.
The land and river are popular with swimmers and hikers but the developer has closed the land to the public citing liability.
“It seems like the theft could be associated with the dispute because just last Sunday our company truck was vandalized during the day when it was parked on a public road,” said 3L Developments spokesperson Caroline Nestor.
The company has had signs and other items vandalized as well.
Mike Barrett looked after the property for 3L for six years and although the theft of his ashes may have been unintentional, it has left company officials devastated.
“Devastated for the disc golf people, devastated for Mike’s surviving brother,” added Nestor.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321