A Kamloops man is reminding the public to be wary of leaving items in their cars after finding his stolen vehicle packed with allegedly stolen goods — and the suspect — on the weekend.
Don Levasseur, a salesperson with Kamloops This Week, noticed the car — a 2008 Honda Accord — was missing from his driveway on July 18.
Levasseur noticed his back windows were rolled down the night before and went to roll them up, putting the keys in the ignition to do so.
He inadvertently left the keys in the ignition and, the next morning, discovered his car was gone.
Levasseur immediately filed a report with the RCMP and posted to Facebook that his car was missing.
Word of mouth proved fruitful. Two days later, on Saturday morning, a woman messaged him a photo of his vehicle parked behind Sahali Mall.
“I rushed out there to make sure the car wasn’t going to go anywhere,” Levasseur said, noting he also called police.
Levasseur spotted his vehicle in the parking lot and, when he looked inside, he saw what he assumed was a mass of stolen items — along with a man sleeping in the driver’s seat.
Levasseur called 911 and police arrived immediately.
“I explained the situation, they surrounded the vehicle and I started filming,” Levasseur said.
Kamloops Mounties surrounded the vehicle with multiple cruisers and Levasseur unlocked the car with his spare key.
The man, still asleep, was arrested instantly.
“I don’t even think the suspect even knew what was hitting him when they opened up that door and grabbed him,” Levasseur said.
He said an officer told him the suspect is known to police for checking unlocked cars and stealing anything left in plain sight.
“They assumed what was inside the car was probably from two days of working,” Levasseur said.
His car became a shopping cart, he said, noting a variety of allegedly stolen items in the vehicle, including pillows, blankets, gas cards and children’s scooters.
“A lot of everything and a lot of nothing, really,” Levasseur said, noting there were also bullets and drugs found in the car.
He said police bagged all the items and are still examining the vehicle.
Levasseur was embarrassed to have left his keys in the car, but he also feels for the person who allegedly stole his car.
“I felt, just by looking at the person, that he most likely never had a chance,” Levasseur said. “He’s probably been on the street for a long time.”
Kamloops Mounties advise residents to ensure they keep their vehicles locked and refrain from leaving any items visible inside.