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Huntsville ride-sharing service targeted by vandals 6 times in less than a month

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Operators of a ride-sharing app, called Y Drive, say vandals have targeted their vehicles six times in less than a month.

"We woke up one morning to a smashed windshield in one of our driver's vehicles. It was pretty evident that it was done on purpose. The rocks [were] still laying around, and the windshield smashed in the driver's side of the window, which makes it inoperable for that driver," said Y Drive General Manager Chance Chapadeau.

Provincial police charged a 33-year-old Huntsville man with mischief over $5,000 in connection with one incident caught on camera last week.

"The company was taking it seriously, and they did start installing cameras, and that's how we were able to identify the accused in the last incident," said OPP Const. Dana Morris.

Y Drive moved to Huntsville last year, and the operators said they've been exchanging friendly barbs online with a local company, Independent Taxi.

"Healthy competition between companies in a small town is always good. But eventually, that jest turned into some more angry rhetoric, and it seems to have escalated from there," Chapadeau said.

While the accused is connected to the taxi company owner, the owner said they were not involved.

"Independent Taxi doesn't have anything to do with what's gone on with Y Drive. I feel for them. I've been in business 17 years, and I spent the first two years replacing my fleet twice," said Independent Taxi owner Reuben Pyette.

Provincial police say the five other incidents of vandalism on parked vehicles belonging to Y Drive started Sept. 18.

Huntsville OPP encourages anyone with information to call 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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