Karen Moore still has the keys to her 1994 Dodge Caravan, but not the vehicle. It was stolen earlier this month, and a towing company is demanding $320 before they'll release it.
She quickly called the cops and watched as the thief was pulled over, arrested and taken into custody.
But the story doesn't yet have a happy ending because Moore doesn't have the $320 a towing company is demanding before they'll release her 1994 Dodge Caravan from their yard.
"It seems pretty strange that my van would be stolen, and now I have to pay so much money just to get it back," Moore, 52, said Monday.
"It's not the greatest vehicle in the world, but it's been really reliable transportation for me," she said. "I'm kind of lost without it."
Moore, who works part-time at a retail job, left work Dec. 12 to find her van had been stolen from the company's parking lot.
The next day, she was driving along Highway 33 with her sister when she saw the van on Homer Road. "I couldn't believe it; I mean, what are the odds?" Moore said.
She jokes that she and her sister quickly switched into female crime-fighting roles popularized on an old TV show as they followed her stolen van: "All of a
sudden, we were like Cagney and Lacey."
Moore called 911 and police arrived to pull the driver of her van over on Dilworth Drive. "After he stopped, it looked like maybe (the driver) was going to run for it, but the officer put her hand on her gun, and he gave up."
The driver was arrested and police found the the van filled with stolen goods. Police continue to investigate as charges are prepared against the suspect, who was released from custody, RCMP Const. Kris Clark said.
This past weekend, police called Moore to say she could pick up her van at a local towing company. But when she got there Monday, she was told she'd have to pay $320 to cover towing and storage costs.
Since she only had basic auto insurance, the theft
isn't covered. "I don't know how I'm going to get it back, and every day it sits there the storage charge will probably just keep going up and up," she said.
Moore has scoliosis and walking long distances on snowy and icy streets is difficult and risky.
Despite her predicament, Moore, who is a religious person, doesn't bear ill will toward the thief.
"I've already forgiven him," she said. "I just really hope he experiences a Christmas miracle and is able to turn his life around."
If you wish to make a donation to help Karen Moore get her van out of the towing company's lot, please phone The Daily Courier's newsroom at 250-470-0739.