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

‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre

Temporary shelter set up in April to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Suspect sought in alleged indecent act in South Surrey

Police say incident occurred near 13 Avenue and 131 Street

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found a body in the 11300-block of Bridgeview Drive: Surrey RCMP

PHOTOS: White Rock Farmers’ Market ‘welcomes all vendors’

Relaxing pandemic restrictions mean full spectrum of vendors can return to uptown market: manager

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read