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Happy couple reunited with stolen truck, possessions
A couple who had their truck and most of their worldly possessions stolen from a hotel parking lot in Langford have been reunited with their vehicle and some of their goods.
Ryan Barber and Vivian Pattison are moving from the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) to Victoria, and were staying overnight on Monday, Sept. 2 in the Sheraton Four Points Hotel in Langford. They awoke in the morning to find their truck missing, along with all of their belongings inside.
When they realized the red 1995 Nissan truck was gone their reaction was disbelief.
"Just unreal. You don't expect your vehicle to disappear, the whole thing," Pattison said.
Media picked up the story quickly and the community showed interest and sympathy over social media.
At about 6:40 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4, West Shore RCMP received a call from a resident in the Luxton fairgrounds area who said a red truck that looked like one they had seen on the news was parked on the road near their home.
Police went to take and look and determined it was the vehicle.
On Thursday the couple came to Westshore Towing to reunite with their truck and see what of their belongings remained and what had been stolen.
"It's a much better turn out than we expected," Barber said. "I didn't expect to see any of it again really."
"We were OK with nothing coming back and it's better if something did," Pattison said.
The truck is fine condition and many items remains, including a surf board, the couples' wetsuits, some ammunition and many of their personal items, including Barber's writings and their passports, unfortunately already cancelled by the couple for safety.
Still missing from the truck are two bicycles, a violin, two duffel bags and backpacks full of clothing, camping equipment, sleeping bags and a chainsaw. A Tikka T3 270 bolt-action rifle was also stolen.
"I would assume that's what happened here, is that the vehicle was taken … what they wanted to take was taken and then what was left was left," West Shore RCMP spokesperson Corp. Kathy Rochlitz said. "A bit of investigation needs to continue at this point for us."
Rochlitz said the fact the rifle is still missing is a concern and the police will continue to investigate the disappearance of the weapon.
The pair were moving as Pattison gets set to start classes at the University of Victoria. It's a move they do annually for the school year, but typically they have an apartment lined up or a friend's place to stay. This year they didn't, so they checked in at the hotel.
If there is a lesson to be learned, the pair said it's not to leave anything you value in your vehicle, even outside a hotel, and to consider getting insurance for your possessions.
The couple say they were shocked by the media response and the outpouring from the community.
"It's amazing. … It's kind of overwhelming actually," Barber said. "Thank you, thank you. This is fantastic."