January 25, 2014 - 11:24 AM
"THIS WAS A WEIRD EVENT."
PENTICTON - Three of four brand-new Toyotas stolen from a Penticton car lot last week have now been recovered and one is already already back on the lot with a for sale sign in the window.
A 2014 Toyota RAV4 was found by a resident in the 600 block of Winnipeg Street on Tuesday, Penticton Toyota dealership co-owner Larry Pidperyhora said. This was confirmed by RCMP Sgt. Rick Dellebuur.
Kelowna RCMP spokesperson Kris Clark explained a 2014 Toyota 4-Runner from the Penticton dealership was spotted on the 300 block of Franklyn Road around 2 p.m. It's now being examined for forensic evidence. And Pidperyhora said another was found by a young woman in the Rutland area in Kelowna on Friday.
"She heard it in the media and saw this suspicous RAV4," he said. "She phoned the dealership and gave me the serial number. I called the RCMP in Penticton and she called the RCMP in Kelowna."
Pidperyhora said the third vehicle is in perfect condition, much like the other two. It only had 77 kilometres on the odometer.
The trio of vehicles were three of four new autos taken from the Penticton dealership in the early morning hours on Jan. 14. A 2014 bronze Toyota Tundra pickup are still unaccounted for.
As for the RAV4, Pidperyhora said someone spotted the new black vehicle parked near an apartment complex. It also had a stolen license plate on it, possibly lifted from a rental car.
After the vehicle was processed by the RCMP it was returned to the dealership where staff inspected and washed it before putting it on the lot for purchase. Pidperyhora said the vehicle's odometer showed only seven kilometres recorded almost a week after it had been stolen.
He said it's in perfect shape and he laughed when asked if its value dropped after being driven off the lot. He said no. It's still priced at roughly $27,000.
There might also be a witness to what happened at the dealership last Tuesday he explained.
"We have an employee open the building at 6:30 in the morning," Pidperyhora said. This staffer saw a Tundra and a 4Runner being moved but the employee didn't think much of it at the time.
The owner explained it's common to see new vehicles delivered and driven off transport trucks. The time of day this happened, early in the morning, was odd but still not out of the ordinary.
"Not until we checked into the vehicles dropped off that night did the alarms start ringing," Pidperyhora said. He hopes the other three vehicles will be recovered soon.
"This was a weird event," Pidperyhora said, referring to the theft .
The police investigation continues.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Penticton RCMP at 250-492-4300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @InfoNewsPentict.
- This story was updated at 11:019 a.m. on Jan. 25, 2014 to include details of the third car being found.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014