Police investigate apparent ‘rooftopping‘ stunt in Vancouver

Police are once again urging people not to risk their lives for social media likes as they investigate what appears to be another "rooftopping" stunt in downtown Vancouver.

The latest incident was caught on camera by CTV News employee, who recorded three people standing on the roof of a highrise condo at Smithe and Seymour streets Tuesday evening.

The video shows one of them slowly walking out onto a beam and holding up what‘s likely a cellphone or camera.

Police were called to the building, but the group had left the scene by the time officers arrived.

Rooftopping – the act of illegally climbing buildings and structures for thrills and attention – is nothing new in the city. Police have responded to several similar incidents, including a daredevil stunt site that was posted to YouTube earlier this year. 

Const. Jason Doucette said investigators take these kinds of incidents very seriously, because if anything goes wrong the thrill-seekers can put first responders and even innocent bystanders at risk.

"This is selfish," Doucette told CTV News. "The selfie‘s not worth it."

Even something as simple as dropping a cellphone from those heights can have life-altering consequences for someone at street level, he added.

And if a daredevil were to fall partway down a building and injure themselves, it would trigger a potentially dangerous rescue effort.

"If they fall they‘re probably not going to get a second chance, but if they do, first responders have to put themselves at risk and get in there to help out," Doucette said. "So don‘t do it."

A known rooftopper who posts on Instagram and YouTube shared a video Tuesday that appears to be from the same highrise. It shows someone standing on a beam and looking out onto the Vancouver skyline.

Doucette said if police identify the people behind the stunt, they could face charges of mischief and, depending on how they accessed the building‘s roof, break and enter.

With files from CTV Vancouver‘s Penny Daflos