A Kamloops man has been reunited with his bright orange 1983 GMC 2500 pickup truck, less than 72 hours after it was stolen from Active Care Auto in Valleyview.
Dustin Thomas tells KamloopsMatters he got a "funny text message" from someone around 8 p.m. Tuesday night (June 11) that a farmer had reported the vehicle in an irrigation ditch. Thomas called police immediately to tell them about the message. Mounties then called him at 11:30 p.m. to notify him that his vehicle had been found.
"They just told me that the truck...was in OK shape. They didn't know how it ran. It had been repainted...bright pink," he says.
The vehicle is special to Thomas, as he and his dad worked on it right up until his father died of cancer three years ago. Early Tuesday, he posted on Facebook, alerting family and friends what had transpired. It quickly spread across the social media platform. The post has over 3,000 shares on Facebook.
Cpl. Jodi Shelkie with the Kamloops RCMP says the truck was spotted in a field on Neskonlith Indian Band land near Chase, yesterday at 9:08 p.m.
"It was in an out-of-the-way location in the middle of a field," she says.
The field had no residences nearby and there were no surveillance cameras around it. Shelkie adds there are no suspects in the case.
The RCMP towed the truck to Chase and contacted Thomas after finding it.
Thomas notes "a bunch of things" were stolen, including the battery.
"I think they probably stole it to fix and resell and just abandoned the idea," he says.
Despite the ordeal, the local business owner feels "great" about the turn of events.
"The public’s what did it all. I didn’t find the truck. It was the public that found the truck. I urge anybody else that ever loses anything like this to do the same thing, to make a post on Facebook. There are good people out there.
"It was all over social media, the news, KamloopsMatters. When you guys put (the story) out, that’s what really made a difference," says Thomas.
He adds a couple of local body shops have offered to help in the restoration process.
"At least we got it back. That’s all that matters. I really could care less if it runs or not."