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

 

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

HMCS Corner Brook returned to Victoria’s waters for the first time since 2015 on June 10. (Courtesy of the Royal Canadian Navy)
WATCH: Navy surveillance submarine returning to Victoria waters

HMCS Corner Brook one of first submarines to receive new communications systems

A new multi-family residential project at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Cook Street will feature nine below market-priced units aimed at middle-income, first-time homebuyers, through a partnership between BC Housing and the developer. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Middle-income first time homebuyers gain access to nine homes in Victoria

BC Housing partners with development community to create affordable purchases

Victoria police officers used less-lethal weapons to arrest a woman Sunday night after she allegedly attacked a man with a hammer. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police use less-lethal weapons on woman following hammer attack

Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team called to barricade situation

(Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 exposure closes Oak Bay pub, restaurant

Penny Farthing, Vis-a-Vis expected to reopen Wednesday after deep clean

Victoria police are looking for Delmer Esau who was last seen in Esquimalt June 1. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Search continues for man last seen in Esquimalt

Delmer Esau, 35, hasn’t been seen since June 1

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Most Read