Elianna Tory, 5, was surprised with a brand new toy Jeep by 642 Jeeps, a group of off-roading enthusiasts, after hers was stolen outside her home in early October. (Brian Hewitt photo)

Elianna Tory, 5, was surprised with a brand new toy Jeep by 642 Jeeps, a group of off-roading enthusiasts, after hers was stolen outside her home in early October. (Brian Hewitt photo)

Sooke girl left speechless after Island off-road community replaces stolen toy Jeep

Facebook group located new toy in Vernon, BC

It was anything but a calm Saturday for Elianna Tory when she heard loud honking outside her Sooke home.

She couldn’t believe her eyes when she opened the front door – there, at the end of her family’s driveway, was a brand new red toy Jeep.

Two weeks before, the five-year-old was in tears after her toy Jeep was stolen after her parents left it outside overnight. Though they had owned the used toy for two years, this was one of the few times the family forgot to bring it into the garage – a seemingly innocent mistake with the worst outcome.

“When we realized it was gone, Elianna was crushed, but she had an idea,” said mom Hailey Tory.

“We posted a video to Facebook asking for people to keep on the lookout for it, and within hours we were getting so many shares and requests to donate funds for a new one.”

Shortly after, Hailey received a call from Brian Hewitt, a Jeep enthusiast who runs 642 Jeeps, which brings together off-road vehicle enthusiasts in and around Sooke.

Within an hour of sharing the video on his page, the group raised more than $550, enough money to buy Elianna a new Jeep.

“I couldn’t get a word in because I was getting emotional from his kindness and generosity,” Tory said.

The duo agreed to keep it a secret until the Jeep showed up at their door, and Hewitt began searching for the prized possession – a task that proved easier said than done.

READ MORE: Dog reunited with Sooke man after being claimed by stranger the night before

Hewitt called all the Walmart’s on the Island and various big box stores but to no avail. No one had a toy Jeep in stock. That is until he remembered he had spotted one at a car dealership earlier. He reached out to a friend at Duncan Dodge, who located a red Jeep in pristine condition in Vernon, an eight-hour drive away.

Luckily, he was able to arrange a Vernon Lordco store to cover the costs to bring the Jeep to the Island, just in time to surprise Elianna a day after her family had arrived back home from a trip to Alberta.

“The look on her face was priceless,” said Hewitt. “I’ve got kids too, and I know how much it means to be able to surprise them. My little guy has one himself, and I can only imagine how much she loves it too. It had to be done, no question about it.”

Hewitt and several off-roaders from the Facebook group met in downtown Sooke on Oct. 17 before delivering the gift with a convoy. They were accompanied by Emcon Services Inc., who led an escort with a few of their trucks.

“She was speechless,” said Tory. “At that moment, I was on the brink of crying. It was like a movie moment where you have to take a deep breath to compose yourself. She was speechless, and that’s coming from someone who never stops talking.”

Hewitt pointed out the red toy Jeep came outfitted with lights and suspension that dances to the music’s beat.

He said Elianna is now part of the Jeep family – one that he said will never leave her without a friend or a helping hand once she starts driving. Until then, the five-year-old is keeping a close eye on her beloved new toy.

ALSO READ: Stolen gnomes returned to Langford woman with apology note


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

JeepSooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Elianna Tory, 5, was surprised with a brand new toy Jeep by 642 Jeeps, a group of off-roading enthusiasts, after hers was stolen outside her home in early October. (Brian Hewitt photo)

Elianna Tory, 5, was surprised with a brand new toy Jeep by 642 Jeeps, a group of off-roading enthusiasts, after hers was stolen outside her home in early October. (Brian Hewitt photo)

Just Posted

Victoria School for Ideal Education at 2820 Belmont Avenue is the second school in Greater Victoria with an active confirmed COVID-19 exposure. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Private school becomes second Greater Victoria school with COVID-19 exposure

Victoria School for Ideal Education follows Lakeview Christian School in Saanich

Brenda Schroeder thought she was reading it wrong when she won $100,000 from a Season’s Greetings Scratch & Win. (Courtesy BCLC)
New home on the agenda after scratch ticket win in Saanich

Victoria woman set to share her $100,000 Season’s Greetings lottery win

Vehicles involved crashes in Oak Bay from 2019. (ICBC Screenshot)
A crash on Foul Bay Road near Carnarvon Street in 2018. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Foul Bay Road a corridor of crashes in 2019

Last year, 63 crashes in Oak Bay involved vehicles

A seabin is able to intercept and collect floating debris in calm bodies of water. This is one of two installed in the North Saanich Marina by a group of local businesses thanks to the proceeds from Blue Friday sales in 2019. (Provided by Maya Bellay)
Blue Friday to support more trash skimmers in Greater Victoria waters

Seabins can collect up to one-and-a-half tons of floating debris per year

An economic recovery plan in progress since April offers various recommendations for the region to overcome the impacts of COVID-19. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Greater Victoria economic ‘reboot’ plan tackles impacts of COVID-19

Newly-formed task force looks at various sectors, industries

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)
Heiltsuk man files human rights complaint against Vancouver police, BMO after bank arrest

Pair remains distraught after employee falsely reports fraud in progress leading to their arrest

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

BCHL
BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Most Read