This article was updated on Dec. 21 to include a response from ICBC.
An Island woman says she needs help in finding out who stole her car, took it for a joyride and torched it.
Almost a month after the incident took place, Jaiden Sumner of Campbell River says she has to use her mother’s car to get around because ICBC won’t fulfill her claim.
That’s because she can’t prove it was stolen, she says.
“Basically, they don’t know where to point fingers,” she says. “Until anything’s proven, they can’t help me out.”
Sumner’s ordeal began when she awoke on a Sunday morning, Nov. 25, to learn that police had found her car abandoned off a logging road outside of Campbell River. It was completely destroyed.
“I broke down,” she says. “It was the worst possible feeling.”
Sumner says she parked her dark gray 2005 Toyota Matrix on the street outside her home sometime after midnight. She says the car disappeared while she was sleeping.
The thief – or thieves – drove the car to what police described as a gravel pit just outside of Campbell River and set the vehicle ablaze, she says.
Photos posted by Sumner on Facebook on Tuesday night show the compact car reduced to a burned-out shell in what appears to be a muddy field surrounded by forest. She says she didn’t attend the scene and the photos were taken by her mother for the insurance claim.
She says that while ICBC and police are doing their best to help, she can’t prove that she didn’t destroy the car for insurance fraud purposes.
Lindsay Wilkins, a senior communications specialist for ICBC, said in a Dec. 21 statement that the “circumstances of this claim are complex and we are currently reviewing this claim.”
Wilkins said claims of this type “take time to investigate and the timelines are set out in ICBC’s optional insurance policy.”
She added: “If a customer has Loss of Use coverage, they would be entitled to a rental vehicle and ICBC will reimburse the customer after the investigation is completed if the claim is valid.”
Now Sumner is asking for people to come forward with clues.
“They completely torched my vehicle, so there’s no evidence,” she says. “We need the help of the community.”
Story continues below image.
|Campbell River resident Jaiden Sumner says someone stole her 2005 Toyota Matrix and set it ablaze outside of town. Photo courtesy Jaiden Sumner|
Due to the insurance impasse, Sumner says she’s using her mother’s car to get around. Sharing a vehicle adds to her difficulties, she says.
The hatchback contained important documents and an iPad, and the car itself had strong sentimental value – it was her first vehicle – as did some of the items inside, including a letter from an ex.
There is at least one promising clue. Someone tried to use a deactivated credit card that was inside the vehicle, she says.
The transaction was declined at a local 7-Eleven early on the morning of Nov. 25, Sumner says.
She’s hoping that police will be able to use surveillance footage from the store to get to the bottom of things.
But that process is delayed because the credit card company hasn’t yet verified the exact time when the failed transaction took place, she says.
It supposedly occured at 9:13 a.m. Central Time – but that time zone remains unconfirmed, Sumner says.
She’s asking for anyone with information – including footage captured on surveillance cameras – to contact her or police.
“They would’ve bragged about it, they would’ve had video of it, they would have done something stupid along the line,” she says.
Black Press has reached out to ICBC for comment.
Cpl. Ron Vlooswyk, a spokesperson for the Campbell River RCMP, confirmed that police responded to the incident on Nov. 25 and that the case is under investigation.
Mounties from the local detachment respond to an average of 5.17 stolen vehicles per month, and vehicle theft spiked in September with 13 cases, he says. He cautions that those are raw figures subject to change.
A rash of thefts of items from unlocked vehicles remains a bigger problem for the Mounties, according to Vlooswyk.
Earlier this month, police said they received an average of 63 complaints about thefts from vehicles per month since Sept. 1. The cars were unlocked in 90 per cent of the cases, according to the Campbell River RCMP.
Search continues for bear wandering through Saanich
Bear spotted eating garbage near Elk Lake Wednesday, B.C. Conservation says
Victoria police called to two seperate knife incidents at the same time
Both incidents remain under investigation
More than 10,000 voters have cast advance ballots in Saanich North and Islands
Only two ridings, one of them on Vancouver Island, have seen more advance voting
Tree-pruning community gathers in Oak Bay after tragic death
Crews met in solidarity at site of Tuesday incident
Fridays for Future plans second event for North Saanich after inaugural protest
Some 30 people attended first protest on Oct. 9 with a second one scheduled for Oct. 23
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases
up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths
Here’s your Greater Victoria roundup for the 2020 B.C. election
Candidates, forums, where to vote and more
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary
Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago
It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen
Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021
COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again
WestJet to offer full refunds for flights cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
Airline will begin contacting customers Nov. 2
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected
B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions
With repairs to Skeena Queen underway, it is not clear when service will resume
Almost $1,000 in fines, vehicle impounded for each motorist
Crews met in solidarity at site of Tuesday incident
Both Tam and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to be responsible about the information they share
Officer in unmarked car issues $483 ticket, week-long vehicle impound
Michael Arthor Leighton is known to travel around the Island, Saanich police say
Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue