Thief rolls away from North Okanagan car lot with stolen wheels in shopping cart - InfoNews

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Thief rolls away from North Okanagan car lot with stolen wheels in shopping cart

Surveillance cameras captured video of a thief wheeling away from Swan Lake Motors in Vernon with his booty in a shopping cart.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Swan Lake Motors
June 03, 2019 - 4:31 PM

VERNON - A brazen theft from a Vernon car dealership has left the owner in shock after a man removed four wheels from a Jeep, leaving the vehicle on blocks, before wheeling away the stolen goods in a shopping cart.

Joe Skerritt told iNFOnews.ca he arrived at his family owned business, Swan Lake Motors, today, June 3, to find a Jeep on the lot was on four blocks having had its wheels removed.

Skerritt said he assumed someone had turned up in a truck with a cordless drill and jack, and stolen the wheels.

"I was shocked," he said. "This was different."

On checking his surveillance camera footage, he discovered a man had wheeled a shopping cart containing blocks into his car lot, placed them under the car and stole the vehicle's wheels. The footage then shows the man wheeling the cart containing the tires out of Skerritt's business.

Swan Lake Motors owner Joe Skerritt discovered the Jeep's wheels were missing when he arrived at work, Monday, June 3, 2019.
Swan Lake Motors owner Joe Skerritt discovered the Jeep's wheels were missing when he arrived at work, Monday, June 3, 2019.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Swan Lake Motors

Skerritt said it took the thief about one and a half hours to complete the theft that took place around 5 p.m. Sunday, June 2.

He headed over to the homeless camp south of his business located adjacent to Highway 97 near the BX Creek, and straight away found two of his wheels sitting on the pathway. As he kept walking he found another wheel. A group from Vernon's Venture Training were doing a cleanup of the area and found the fourth wheel later that day.

Skerritt also discovered a huge inventory of what appeared to be stolen goods in the same area.

"Tons and tons of propane tanks and bikes, lots of bike frames," Skerritt said. Skerritt saw car parts, TVs and even a full central vacuum system.

The people at the camp were friendly towards him and he didn't see the person who had stolen the wheels.

"Going in screaming and yelling isn't going to help," he said. "I went in with a cool head."

"I feel bad, I don't want anybody to have to live like that, but I also just want my stuff back."

He reported the theft to the RCMP.

Skerritt said over the years he'd had plenty of stuff stolen, but they had generally always been smaller items. He estimated the cost of the wheel and tires he managed to recover at between $1,500 to $2,000.

Calls to Vernon RCMP about the incident were not immediately returned.


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