This article was updated on Dec. 21 to include a response from ICBC.
A Campbell River resident says she needs help from the community to find out who stole her car, took it for a joyride and torched it in a gravel pit on the outskirts of town.
Almost a month after the incident took place, Jaiden Sumner says she has to use her mother’s car to get around because ICBC won’t fulfill her claim. That’s because she can’t prove it was stolen, she says.
“Basically, they don’t know where to point fingers,” she says. “Until anything’s proven, they can’t help me out.”
Sumner’s ordeal began when she awoke on a Sunday morning, Nov. 25, to learn that police had found her car abandoned off a logging road outside of Campbell River. It was completely destroyed.
“I broke down,” she says. “It was the worst possible feeling.”
Sumner says she parked her dark gray 2005 Toyota Matrix on the street outside her home sometime after midnight on Nov. 24.
She says the car was parked on Thulin Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenue, near the Museum at Campbell River, and that it disappeared while she was sleeping.
The thief – or thieves – drove the car to a gravel pit on Duncan Bay Main, near Elk River Main, where they set it ablaze, she says. Google Maps indicates that the two logging roads meet just west of the Beaver Lodge Lands and Highway 19.
Photos posted by Sumner on Facebook on Tuesday night show the compact car reduced to a burned-out shell in what appears to be a muddy field surrounded by forest. She says she didn’t attend the scene and the photos were taken by her mother for the insurance claim.
She says that while ICBC and police are doing their best to help, she can’t prove that she didn’t destroy the car for insurance fraud purposes.
Lindsay Wilkins, a senior communications specialist for ICBC, said in a Dec. 21 statement that the “circumstances of this claim are complex and we are currently reviewing this claim.”
Wilkins said claims of this type “take time to investigate and the timelines are set out in ICBC’s optional insurance policy.”
She added: “If a customer has Loss of Use coverage, they would be entitled to a rental vehicle and ICBC will reimburse the customer after the investigation is completed if the claim is valid.”
Now Sumner is asking for people to come forward with clues.
“They completely torched my vehicle, so there’s no evidence,” she says. “We need the help of the community.”
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