KAMLOOPS – What would you do if your wallet was stolen, along with your children's identification cards, and an RCMP officer tells you it would be 'a long shot' if you ever see your stuff again?
“I thought ‘well, that’s not going to work for me,’" Alyssa Parent says, noting she’s 'fully aware of her stupidity' after leaving her wallet in plain sight in her car.
For the Kamloops mom it fueled the need to prove RCMP wrong and to catch the man who stole her wallet and ran up her credit cards.
To track the person down, Parent investigated the charges on her card. It started with a cup of coffee at Starbucks, a $500 EB Games purchase and then a series of pre-paid credit card purchases made at several gas stations. But it was when a one-year porn site subscription ran through on her corporate American Express card, which she is required to file an expense report for, that Parent decided to pick up the phone and take action.
“I can’t believe of all the things you think to purchase you think to buy porn,” she says with a laugh.
The employee she spoke with gave her the email address the person signed up with along with the IP address. Then Parent took purchase timestamps on her credit card statement and called up workers at the gas stations. They showed her footage of the thieves, who turned out to be two men and a woman.
Parent then confronted the man who had her wallet by sending him an email, telling him about her detective work and asking for her wallet back.
The thief ended up returning Parent’s wallet, sealed in a bubble wrap envelope with all her identification cards and credit cards in their rightful place. He even phoned to follow up a week later to make sure it was returned safely.
“It was nice that he was so good about it. He obviously felt bad for what he had done,” Parent says, but notes she didn’t let him off easy when she lectured him about stealing identification cards which are a stress to replace.
“I said ‘you guys don’t think about that. Take the credit cards and leave the wallet behind then if you’re going to do that stuff.’ Not like I should be coaching him how to do it,” she says.
In the end, Parent is satisfied that her hard work paid off and believes she scared her wallet-snatcher off for good. She’s not too concerned whether charges are pressed after she took matters into her own hands.
All the information she gave to the RCMP, but Parent says she knows the officers still haven’t picked up the video footage from the businesses where the thieves used her cards.
“I’m disappointed the RCMP didn’t do anything,” she says. “I’m still waiting to hear back from them.”
Kamloops RCMP have not confirmed whether or not there is an investigation. Phone calls made to the Kamloops RCMP have not been returned.
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— This story was updated at 10:04 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 to say the RCMP had not responded to requests for comment.