VIDEO: How the Kelowna car community rallied to find and return a stolen car - InfoNews

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VIDEO: How the Kelowna car community rallied to find and return a stolen car

When Angela Corfe woke up yesterday, July 31, 2018 her prized and sentimental 1998 Honda Civic was gone.
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July 31, 2018 - 10:53 AM

KELOWNA - Angela Corfe says she is thankful for social media support in spreading the word about her stolen car, but she knows that the ones truly responsible for the return of her ‘baby’ are the car guys.

She and her boyfriend Robert Hamiltion modified and customized the 1998 Honda Civic with a new engine, new tires and new exhaust. Their friends are gear-heads, they show their cars and race their cars (legally) and they know their cars.

When Corfe, 22, aided by her mom Michelle Casey, lit up neighbourhood and other groups across social media yesterday that the car was stolen, the car guys went into action.

"As much as I think the 'shop and swap groups' could have helped, all the car kids are always out,” Corfe says this morning, July 31, shortly after assessing the damage to her car. “If they aren’t out driving, they are staring at cars anyways. When one goes missing, it's nice to have people who notice. They notice the small details.”

Nick Pawlikowski and Jesse Maciejewski only knew Corfe from car events and Facebook so he was aware her car was missing. Later yesterday afternoon they were at Orchard Park Mall and spotted one of those little details most people would miss.

"I was at the mall waiting to meet a buddy to potentially trade cars when I saw the dual-tip exhaust,” he says. “That is an expensive and nice exhaust. I got intrigued because I was a Honda Civic guy and then I saw the sketchy guy with gloves on and his sketchy girlfriend.”

They captured that scene on video. They engage him in conversation about the Civic and the guy with the gloves seems interested in chatting about his car, almost ready to take credit for it. Then Pawlikowski and Maciejewski unveil the sting and get him on camera. Inexplicably, the unidentified gloved man gets into the car, hot-wires it again from the damaged steering column and drives away.

Casey can’t help but laugh.

“We spoke to police last night and they passed the video on to the officer who investigated their case,” she says. “I think there’s a good chance that he is going to get caught. It's pretty foolish to hot-wire it on camera, I mean he could have just walked away from it at the mall. It kinda seals his deal in my opinion."

That’s not where the story ended. Casey says her home might have attracted some attention in the first place because there’s often young people with custom cars on the street or driveway showing or fixing or modifying. But that same group hit the street yesterday in support. Once the video confirmed the car was still in the city, they covered streets and alleys and parking lots throughout Rutland in pursuit. Someone recognized Glove Man and they found his parents home, but not him nor the car. They checked Mission Creek Park, Ben Lee Park searching for one or the other.

Just as they were about to give up, they opted to check the parking lot of the Real Canadian Superstore and there it was, abandoned. It had a damaged steering column, a crack in a rear bumper but not much else beyond a quarter-tank of gas gone.

“And her CDs. He stole a 22-year-old woman’s CDs,” Casey says with a laugh. “Like what is he doing with Dixie Chicks and Selena Gomez? Give your head a shake."

Casey speaks about her daughter, Hamilton and their wider circle of car nuts with pride. She enjoys seeing their satisfaction and rewards for their attention, energy and money but also the comradery and now it has come full circle.

"I don’t think Joe Blow that knows nothing about cars would have that recognition of the vehicle or step in and do that,” Casey says. “These are their babies and they take it personally. They all rallied together so quickly, the number of people out looking for her car: it was amazing. They are all good kids.”

Corfe considers it a lesson to be learned. She’ll fix the damage and she’ll add an anti-theft device — custom, of course, so you won’t be able to figure it out.

But she’s still pissed about her CDs.

“I’m just glad that all my racing stuff was still there. He didn’t know to take that,” she says. “But my discs… there was MuchMore mixes from like 2006 in there! I had a prime collection."


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