Kelowna-based firefighter has to write off truck stolen from him | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna-based firefighter has to write off truck stolen from him

Connor Callaghan's truck was stolen.
August 31, 2020 - 12:45 PM

Connor Callaghan has been on a roller coaster of emotions over the last couple of weeks.

While deployed by B.C. Wildfire Service to the Christie Mountain fire near Penticton his truck was stolen from the Merritt parking lot where all crews left their vehicles.

It would have been a major blow to anyone but perhaps worse for Callaghan who had been camping out of his truck throughout the summer while working for the wildfire service.

Everything he needed to start a new school year at UBC Okanagan was inside — his clothes, computer, iPad and bike rack. Also, the truck had sentimental value because he and his dad put 17 years of work into it together.

He put out a call to see if anyone had seen the older model Toyota and it was later spotted in Kamloops. Within days Mounties tracked it down and it was sent off to ICBC which contacted him today, Aug. 31, with bad news.

“I feel like I had a little hope I was going to get it back, then after it was, I found a lot of hope,” he said. “Now that I’m not getting it back, now I’m a little sadder.”

ICBC told him that the truck incurred more damage than it's worth, so it’s a total loss.

“It had been driven pretty hard, the front right quarter panel and both doors were beat-up,” he said. “And there was undercarriage damage and both rear windows were smashed.”

Everything he had inside was gone, but there were new additions like chainsaws and outboard motors, presumably stolen from elsewhere, and the cab of the truck was “a mess.”

He said the person caught with it was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property.

Despite all the damage wrought, Callaghan said he was hoping to get the truck back anyway.

“It had been in an accident three or four years ago, but my dad bought it back from ICBC and fixed it,” he said. “ICBC said they won’t do that twice, so now, just trying to see if there are any vehicles I can afford.”

So far, no such luck.

What is working, however, is the GoFundMe account his sisters set up to get him back on his feet. It's already raised more than $10,000 and Callaghan hopes he can stretch that out to make up for what's been lost.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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