Family spots stolen car being pursued by police on CTV News
Published Thursday, October 29, 2015 7:06PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 29, 2015 7:19PM PDT
A Squamish family never thought they would see their two stolen cars again – until they spotted one of them on TV, recklessly weaving through traffic during a police pursuit.
Paula Samra saw footage of the pursuit, taken from the RCMP’s Air One helicopter, Wednesday night on CTV News and couldn’t believe her eyes: there was her brand new Nissan Rogue acting as a getaway car for thieves who had stolen it only days before.
“I thought: Oh, that’s my car. I haven’t driven it more than 200 km and there are these jerks driving my car right now, for all of B.C. to see,” Samra said.
Four suspects have now been charged in the incident, which started after thieves were spotted riding in Samra’s brother’s BMW on Wednesday afternoon. They ditched that car and switched to her Rogue, and then finally used a Jeep stolen from rental car company Hertz.
The thieves were spotted in Richmond, but were apprehended in Hope – a 200 km journey with police following and recording video from their chopper.
When officers on the ground moved in, the thieves tried to ram their way out, slamming into a police car and injuring two officers. They’re expected to recover.
Samra said she bought the Rogue last week as one of the first major joint purchases with her husband. The pair only drove it from the Coquitlam dealership to her home in Squamish.
“When we went to sleep it had only 200 km on it and was in mint condition,” she said. “Saturday morning we woke up to my brother screaming that our vehicles were missing. We were terrified and truly devastated.”
The only clue about where the vehicles had gone was treads marked in paint up the street. While driving off the thieves had run over a paint can in their driveway.
The Samras called the police, but figured the odds they would ever set eyes on the vehicles in one piece were low.
“Then I saw my vehicle on CTV. I saw it going high speed. It was shocking. Completely shocking. That’s my car, I thought I would never see it again,” she said.
Samra says police have told her the BMW is in good condition, but she hasn’t heard about the Rogue.
“I’m hoping we can get it fixed up and ready to go,” she said.
Police recovered a variety of stolen passports, cheques, and stolen mail, which they say points to an identity theft ring.
The four people charged are Steven Edward Hart, Aaron Spencer Dutiaume, Stephany Helen Heppner, and Kristopher Allen Larson.