Stolen car leaves Surrey single mother stranded

METRO VANCOUVER — All the Christmas cheer at Jane Scott’s east Vancouver basement suite evaporated Sunday morning when she learned her ’99 Chrysler Intrepid had been stolen from the alley the night before and was now a heap of twisted metal sitting in the Burnaby RCMP impound lot.

Vancouver police told her the thieves had taken it on a wild ride, speeding to North Vancouver, robbing a 7-11 in Burnaby and finally smashing it into a “Welcome to Surrey” sign at the south end of the Pattullo Bridge before scampering off into the night.

The car was an early Christmas gift from Scott’s parents, who helped her buy the $1,300 sedan a couple weeks ago. Before that, the single mother and full-time delivery truck driver had been taking her two kids to school and daycare in a ‘92 Buick Skylark. That car was so “crappy” that she happily dropped its comprehensive coverage when an insurance salesman suggested doing so could help her save money with the pricey holiday season approaching.

She said she had planned to once again buy full coverage for the Chrysler when her current plan ran out Jan. 3.

By opting out of additional coverage for things like fire and theft, a customer like Scott is only insured against injuries to another person and is now liable for any costs incurred if a car is totalled and towed afterward, according to Insurance Corp. of B.C. spokeswoman Leslie Dickson.

It may take weeks for forensic investigators to finish examining her car for evidence, but Scott said Mounties have told her that it will eventually be towed to Mundie’s Towing and Recovery on Kingsway, where she will have to pay impound fees.

“It means nothing to me now, I can’t sell it, I can’t drive it,” Scott said.

She is now scrambling to find a cheap car so that she can get her life back to normal once she, her seven-year-old son Phoenix and three-year-old daughter Hailey end their holidays next Monday.

Of the destroyed Chrysler, she said: “It was super nice to me, anyone else might not like it, but for me it was like luxury.”

Meanwhile, Surrey RCMP officers narrowly missed arresting four men that a witness saw pile out of the upside-down car after it hopped the curb and rammed into Whalley’s welcome sign just before 3 a.m. Sunday morning, according to RCMP spokesman Cpl. Bert Paquet. A canine unit picked up their scent and tracked it “for a few blocks” before it ran cold, Paquet said.

“We believe they either called a cab or hopped into another vehicle,” he said.

Inside the flipped car, officers found lots of cigarette packs but no sign of Hailey’s baby seat, Paquet confirmed. A stroller in the trunk was broken.

Scott said she is trying to stay positive, but is disheartened by the callous actions of the thieves.

“It’s such a stupid waste,” she said. “What would you get robbing a 7-11 anyways? Some cigarettes? A small amount of cash?

“And I’ve lost something really significant for me.”

Scott has set up a crowdfunding campaign to buy a new car.

mhager@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/MikePHager

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