By: Korie Marshall

“Seven minutes, max.”

That’s how long Rita Rewerts says she was inside the Lion’s Club on Main Street on Thursday morning, Sept. 4th. When she came out, she was surprised to see another car sitting there, with no one in it. No one had come into the club either. Then she realized her car was gone.

Rewerts called 9-1-1, and she told the police the thieves wouldn’t have been able to get very far because she only had a quarter tank of gas. Strangely enough, when she got the car back earlier this week, it had a half a tank and ran better than it did before.

The RCMP report the car was recovered abandoned in Jasper, but Rewerts says it was involved in a high-speed chase with the RCMP near the Jasper Park gates. She says the RCMP disengaged because of safety concerns – the driver was heading into oncoming traffic, and the car was found later in Jasper, where another vehicle was stolen.

A news release from the Robson Valley Region RCMP says that stolen vehicles pose a serious risk to public safety as they are used in the commission of other crimes, and are almost always driven dangerously, with no regard for others on the road. “A check with ICBC also confirmed that insurance will not cover vehicles stolen if the keys are left in the vehicle.”

The report says it is the second time in the last couple of months a car with the keys left in it has been stolen from the Robson Valley, and the RCMP reminds residents not to leave their keys in their vehicles, even for a short period.

The report also says the car left at the Lions Club was reported stolen from Langley. RCMP towed it to the
Valemount detachment for a forensic examination, and it is currently in the process of being returned to its owner.
Rewerts says she is still a bit shaken up by the theft, and really trying to figure out how she managed to get the car back – better than it was when it was stolen. She does have to replace some of her keys though – the detachable set with the car keys and her truck keys is still missing. The key she got back from the impound company in Jasper starts the engine, but doesn’t lock her doors – and it’s not her key.