When the insurance broker told Charlene Sierakowski she would have to pay a $230 fine before she could insure her car, she couldn’t believe it.
She says it was for an offence she didn’t commit, consuming liquor in a public place, on a night when she was working,
“I was so shocked.”
That was the moment Sierakowski, a Langley resident, discovered she wasn’t done dealing with the theft of her purse during a visit to Crescent Beach earlier this year.
On March 6, the 19-year-old left her purse in the trunk of her grandfather’s car. She had borrowed it to take her dogs for a walk, while her car was off the road to have some mechanical work done.
Sierakowski returned from her visit to the dog park to discover someone got into the locked car trunk and stole her purse by ripping open the back seat.
Sierakowski immediately reported the theft to police and set about replacing her ID.
She wrote a letter to Peace Arch News that appeared in the March 15 edition of the newspaper to warn readers about the theft.
Sierakowski thought the matter had been dealt with until she went to insure her car July 25. That was when she was told that a Surrey Mountie wrote up someone for drinking in a public place almost two months earlier.
According to the violation ticket, the incident occurred at 6:55 p.m. on May 2 near 70A Avenue and 137A Street.
Sierakowski says she was at work when the ticket was issued, and she can prove it.
The person who used Sierakowski’s drivers’ licence signed the ticket, but the signature is nothing like the one on the licence.
They simply scrawled the initials “C.S.” where the “alleged offender’s signature” is supposed to go on the ticket.
Sierakowski notes she’s been signing her full name since she was old enough to spell it.
Now, Sierakowski has to fill out a detailed ICBC Impersonation Package to get the ticket lifted and insure her sporty red Chevy Cavalier coupe.
The package, including any evidence to support her claim that she was working on the day of the incident, has to go to the issuing officer who wrote the ticket, who will decide whether to accept or deny the claim.
Sierakowski, a 6’2” occasional model, is reasonably optimistic the person who used her licence doesn’t look much like her.
She says the police have assured her that her ID documents have now been flagged as stolen, and anyone who tries to use them to fool a police officer will be arrested and charged.
But the thief is still out there with her ID, and that has Sierakowski concerned.
She is leaving for China on Sept. 4 for a three-week modeling assignment, and if her name is linked again to something criminal, she’s worried it could interfere with her trip.
And she vows she won’t leave her purse unattended again.
“Never ever,” she says.
“It never leaves my side.”
ICBC spokesperson Mark Jan Vrem says that if any customers believe they have been victims of driver impersonation, they can file a claim by visiting an ICBC point of service or by calling 604-661-2800.