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I have been pretty fortunate over the years to not have had a lot of automotive theft in my life or major accidents but we hear of stolen vehicles and raided garages all the time. A couple incidences stand out - one very recent one a few years ago. The first major theft for me took place just as I was planning to move to Kelowna BC. We had the house up for sale so I moved my buddies and my motorcycles into my backyard where my German Shepard lived. Left them there a couple weeks while we had house showings and one day - gate was open and both bikes gone. I managed to recover my buddy's bike but mine was never seen again. A few months before this our house was broken into; it was a changing area that's for sure.
More recently my wife and I were in Kelowna again. We have lived in the Vancouver area a few years now and are planning our eventual return back to Kelowna. We bought a house (there does seem to be a theme for us here) and were painting it and getting tenants in place. We returned late Sunday. We unloaded the trailer but I could not get my aluminum custom jeep cab build by Aqualu out of my truck by myself. I had a few changes that needed to be made so I had taken the CJK8 apart to prep for paint so took it with me to Kelowna. We left for work and I called my buddy Chris to come over Monday night so we could get the body out of the back of the truck and re-secure the trailer in my driveway - I have a steel rod imbedded in my driveway that I attach to the chain I snake through the wheels of the trailer - and a receiver lock as well. The call came at 2pm.
The police asked me if anyone was authorized to drive my truck - no. Did I give my keys to anyone - no. Was my truck locked - yes. None of these questions were leading to a good place. They said they had someone in my truck - for reasons I did not ask. I asked is there a big aluminum box in the back - no. Is there a trailer attached to the truck - no. My heart was sinking.
I turned to Facebook and blasted out what had happened. My truck was found - that's how I knew it was gone my custom Jeep body and trailer were not. My next step was to email all the steel scrap yards within a reasonable distance from my house where someone could make it in the 5 short hours they had my truck. Bingo! 9pm that night a local steel yard said they bought my cab for scrap - the guy - in my nice 2017 GMC said it was made wrong and did not fit so she bought the story. She got ID from him (fake) and bought my tub for 75.00 - yes you can have a look at the Aqualu web site and gasp if you like. One of her regulars spotted it and bought it from her that morning. This was probably the best case, as it didn't get near the steel shredder. He brought it back - and I collected it with just a couple small pieces missing - crises averted. My truck is still in the hands of insurance as drugs and alcohol were found in the truck so they need to do a decontamination clean on it and apparently there was tailgate damage - trailer still missing.
I know I could have done a few things differently and this would not have happened. Getting home late made it tough to drag someone to my house to lift a 300 lb. body out of the back - but I should have done it. I should have backed my trailer into the driveway the next morning and chained it down like I always do - I didn't. I could have taken my truck to work even with the body in the back but chose to car pool with my wife in her car so I did not have to drive around in my truck with the body in the back… I didn't. And in turn a thief walked around my back yard - saw my keys in my house on a table broke into my house and took my stuff - thankfully getting caught in the process, which so often does not happen. I try to be an optimist; and will learn a lesson from all of this - and a hit to my bank account. There simply are dishonest people everywhere - you do not need to be in a big city to find that out. There are also far more honest people in this world as-in the scrap yard that called me back and helped me recover my Jeep body (did not want the $75.00 though she got a $100.00 restaurant gift card from me), and the police that for some reason noticed something off about who was driving my truck. The thief will be persecuted, the insurance company will litigate for the person to pay for the damages, I will learn to bolt my trailer back into my driveway, empty my truck no mater how tired I am - and make sure my keys are not visible through a window in my house - or right beside the front door - where dog or not someone can jimmy my door stick their arm through and grab all my keys. All good lessons I hope you can all apply to securing your own gear - even though we really should not have too. and yes the CJK8 will be completed and running before the next issue still!!! Crisis averted. Now for a car trailer.