Have you seen little red fire engine No. 9?
A Cloverdale grandma is reaching out to Reporter readers, hoping to locate a vintage children’s toy she says was stolen from her driveway earlier this week.
Martha Vriezen speculates that it might turn up at a local flea market or antique store.
She is desperate to have the beloved heirloom returned, no questions asked. The family is offering a $100 reward.
The approximately 50-year-old pedal truck would be hard to overlook: Engine No. 9 has a shiny red and yellow paint job that’s like brand new, a blinking emergency light and little silver fire bell, and two ladders (which are still in her garage, fortunately). It’s tiny enough for a toddler to get behind the wheel and power by foot.
One morning this week, the sun was shining, so took her grandkids Brielle, 3, and Emmie, 18 months, outside to play.
“It was a beautiful day,” she said, explaining she didn’t think there would be a problem since her home is located on a quiet cul-de-sac.
It was the first time she’d let them play with the fire engine – an eye-catching item that had recently been pressed into service as a prop for charming baby portraits – but figured there was no harm in doing so.
The trio went indoors at about 12:30 p.m. so Emmie could take her nap, leaving six toys in the yard.
When Vriezen went to retrieve the toys about an hour later, three – a tricycle with a handle to push the rider, a pink scooter, and the bright red fire truck – were gone.
The grandmother of eight says the trike and scooter are newer and can be replaced, but the little red fire engine is unique.
It belonged to her son-in-law, who grew up to work as a volunteer firefighter in Langley.
Her youngest grandson Kingston, 1, was to inherit it when he’s old enough.
“It’s a really old toy,” she said. “It’s like, who would do this?”
Along with scouring the neighbourhood searching in vain for clues, Vriezen has taken her quest to Craigslist but has not yet reported the theft to police.
“What are the police going to do?” she lamented. “The police aren’t going to care about a kid’s toy.”
Contact Vriezen at 604-319-1725 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.