(PHOTO: When Jeff Levere arrived back at his car after work, he discovered that all four wheels were stolen.)
Imagine getting dropped off at the Park and Ride following a long day of work, only to see you don’t have a set of wheels waiting for you.
No, your car is still there. But someone, it appears, has made off with all four of your wheels.
That was exactly the situation Jeff Levere found himself in on April 27.
“It feels like you’re violated,” Levere told StittsvilleCentral.ca in an interview.
He said he didn’t initially realize what had happened to his Hyundai Veloster because it was behind several other cars, but something seemed off the closer he got.
“I had it for six days,” he said of the recently acquired vehicle. “I hadn’t even made the first payment.”
Levere lives in Smiths Falls and works downtown. For his daily commute, he drives to the Carp Road Park and Ride where a friend from Arnprior picks him up and they travel downtown together.
The Veloster looks nice (although the wheels were stock) and so Levere’s friend always joked “Oh look, your car’s still here.”
Because there weren’t any wheels to tow the car, CAA was no help. To get home, Levere had his brother-in-law bring rims and tires from his mother’s car. They were able to attach them and drive home, although they were “a little bit too big,” it did the job for the night.
Although his insurance company paid to replace the wheels, his deductible is $500.
When he was still at the lot, Levere called police and was asked to make a report online. He did and said he hasn’t heard back from the investigating officer.
“Police haven’t told me anything,” he said.
Ottawa police spokesman Cst. Chuck Benoit confirmed that police received Levere’s call at 9:54 p.m. and that an investigation is underway. He could not provide details on the status of the case.
Benoit told StittsvilleCentral.ca that in situations that occur on OC Transpo property, people can also make reports to the transit authority itself either online or by calling (613) 741-2478. OC Transpo has sworn law enforcement officers, called special constables, who are able to investigate, arrest and lay charges.
Troy Charter, Ottawa’s director of transit operations, said there were no complaints to OC Transpo about theft from vehicles or damage to vehicles at the Carp Road lot in all of 2016.
“Our Special Constables patrol our service network at all times of the day and days of the week including the transitway, bus stops… (and) Park and Ride lots such as the Carp Park and Ride lot,” he wrote in a statement relayed through the city’s media relations office.
Charter did not say if there was video surveillance.
In any case, Levere isn’t waiting for police.
He’s working on getting footage from a nearby city traffic cam, which he said has a good view of the entrance of the lot and may have caught someone entering with an empty truck and leaving with four tires.
He also spoke to the manager of the nearby Shell gas station and asked them to check their tapes.
“I think there needs to be more surveillance at every Park and Ride,” he said. “(People are) not expecting that someone is gonna ransack their car.”
In the meantime, his car is back on the road with a fresh set of wheels.
Residents with any information about the theft are encouraged to call Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222.