Cheap shredding choice backfired on TransLink

Released documents reveal more about transit ticket heist

A book of 10 FareSaver tickets from TransLink.

The theft in June 2010 of $153,000 worth of prepaid transit tickets before they were to be shredded might have been avoided if TransLink paid an extra $10,000 for more secure shredding.

Two former employees of Urban Impact Recycling were charged in October with theft and fraud after a large number of FareSaver tickets went missing from Urban’s Richmond warehouse and then began surfacing on the black market.

The FareSavers were to be destroyed because TransLink raised fare prices in April 2010 and new prepaid tickets were being rolled out at the higher prices.

A Freedom of Information request shows TransLink considered the more secure option of having a contractor come and perform the shredding work on TransLink property – at an estimated cost of $17,000 for 30 skids of FareSavers.

But supervisor Yvonne Scott decided to instead send the skids to Urban for off-site shredding at the cheaper price of $7,124.

“Please send off-site,” she told another staffer in an email. “We don’t have $17k in the budget for this. I assume you use this company regularly (and) are comfortable with the security processes they have in place?”

Scott was assured TransLink regularly sent secure documents to the off-site contractor for shredding.

Later in 2010, transit security and police began finding people illegally selling FareSaver booklets for about $19 at Broadway Station, in Chinatown and out of the trunks of cars – all with the old prices and serial numbers that matched the tickets that should have been shredded.

Transit Police alleged 80,000 tickets worth $153,000 were stolen by Patrick Robert Parry of Surrey and James Gordon Hemenway of Vancouver, who both make court appearances in January.

TransLink has refused to disclose exactly how many FareSaver tickets went missing and all references to the total or their value were redacted from the released records.

But the documents suggest the heist – if it was limited to $153,000 – could have been much worse for TransLink.

Each pallet sent to Urban contained 36,000 FareSaver booklets (of 10 tickets each), TransLink records show. Since each booklet was worth at least $20 and 30 pallets were sent off-site, the total value of the tickets sent for shredding exceeded $20 million.

The documents also show new procedures took effect in 2011 requiring TransLink use on-site shredders and have its staff present to verify that tickets or passes are properly destroyed.

When on-site shredders aren’t available, the work can be sent off-site but must be supervised by both a TransLink employee and a Transit Police officer.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wally Oppal says policing ‘too important’ to be left to the police

Oppal was keynote speaker at a Surrey Board of Trade “Hot Topic Dialogue” breakfast event Wednesday

Surrey man charged with murder in West Kelowna tries to change guilty plea

Following an shocking guilty plea on Feb. 25, Tejwant Danjou applied to retract that plea on Feb. 26

17 medals for Delta athletes at 2020 BC Winter Games

More than 1,000 athletes from across the province competed in Fort St. John Feb. 20-23

Surrey skater speeds his way to four golds, a silver at BC Winter Games

‘I just really enjoy going fast on the ice,’ says Barnett Liu, 14

‘Urgent’ need for Metro Vancouver homeless count volunteers

Organizers say another 100 people are sought to help in Surrey and Burnaby

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

B.C. city rebrands with new logo, cheeky slogan

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Alberta tourist dies after plunge from 70-metre cliff in Stanley Park

The 26-year-old hopped a fence at Prospect Point on fell to a walkway below, police said

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also led police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

New Westminster woman’s ‘out of character’ disappearance probed by police

She left without telling anyone, prompting investigation by Major Crimes Unit, police say

EDITORIAL: Fraser Health needs to be transparent to fight coronavirus panic

Fraser Health and other authorities are not helping by being vague in recent communications

Most Read