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Vandals rearrange letters of giant Westhills sign, causing thousands of dollars in damage

It will cost thousands of dollars to repair the damage, company official says
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The Westhills sign in Langford has been damaged by vandals. VIA WESTHILLS LAND CORP.

Vandals who rearranged giant letters spelling Westhills to instead read “heist” on a slope in Langford could have created worse phrases, the developer concedes, but with thousands of dollars in damage done he isn’t laughing.

Rob Muller, who oversees real estate sales and marketing, said Westhills Land Corp., founded in 2006, is offering a $2,000 reward “the details of which we will be releasing Thursday” for anyone with information leading to the positive identification of those responsible for the vandalism which was discovered early Saturday morning.

A prank is one thing but causing thousands of dollars of damage is a very different and serious matter, he said.

“We just want to make sure that people understand that this isn’t just some letters on a hillside but they do have quite a bit of a cost to them,” said Muller. “We just want to keep our com munity looking beautiful and welcoming and so we’re going to put the sign back up and hope that this time it stays up.”

Aluminum letters drilled into stands set in concrete to create the Hollywood-style sign welcome people to the ongoing development in Langford. They were installed in the spring.

The hill is near the intersection of Constellation Avenue and West Shore Parkway.

The cost of the sign and its installation was about $30,000 and the damage is approximately $15,000, said Muller.

Just three of the letters and the logo could be saved “but all the other letters have to be ­re-fabricated and re-made.”

That work has been ordered. It will be done “as soon as ­possible” said Muller. He estimates that will take at least “a couple of weeks.”

The company has made a formal complaint to West Shore RCMP and a file has been opened, said Muller. Video from security cameras is being reviewed.

To help prevent future vandalism, more security cameras will be installed and “everything we can” will be done to mitigate the potential for similar damage in the future, Muller said.

The sign was installed to make the Westhills area ­welcoming and approachable to everybody, said Muller. The slope is seeded for the spring and summer and the sign was intended to make the hill more appealing in bare winter months.

“We’re really proud of our community and proud of what we do. And we thought that was a great sign, a big sign to … take after the Hollywood sign, and put Westhills on the map … a marker that you’ve reached it and you’re in the right spot,” said Muller.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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