Bailiffs, ‘Stolen’ Cars, and the Ice Cream Caper

The volunteers with the Vancouver Police Department’s Citizens Crime Watch are an alert, dedicated group of people, and dozens of stolen vehicles are recovered each year because of them.  This past weekend was no exception.

Saturday afternoon was the type of day featured on our city’s postcards.  It was sunny and mild, the snow capped Coastal Mountains a perfect backdrop for rollerblading, jogging and enjoying the outdoors.  The streets were busy with cars and people when Citizens’ Crime Watch located a mobile stolen vehicle.

After advising their ‘supervisor’ (an officer in uniform acting as the volunteer’s go-between) of the situation, the officer broadcast the stolen vehicle’s location, licence plate and direction of travel.  Before police units could get into the area, the stolen vehicle parked and the two occupants walked away into a nearby restaurant. 

Units were still trying to get into the area when the two occupants came back to the vehicle only a few moments later.  They got in and started to drive away.  By that time, myself and two other police units were able to intercept the vehicle, and safely boxed it in.

Here’s the thing – I immediately suspected the vehicle wasn’t actually stolen when I went nose-to-nose with it.   Instead of panicking and attempting to flee, the driver shook his head and put his hands in the air, with one hand holding an ice cream cone aloft like a white flag.  The passenger, his hands also in the air, shrugged his shoulders, gave me a sheepish grin, and pointed at his own ice cream cone, as if to say, “But it’s gelato!”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call a ‘clue’.

After removing the gents from their vehicle, we sorted out the details.  Earlier in the week, the driver/owner had reported his vehicle stolen after it was unknowingly seized by a bailiff.  The bailiff got in contact with him and arrangements were made for the vehicle’s return, and the owner never thought to advise police it was not in fact stolen. 

The fellow was amicable about the takedown, and said he now had a story to tell his friends.

Once the vehicle was allowed to proceed, officers at the scene chatted about the call in the way most officers do.  One officer came up to me on the sly saying he had the perfect title for my next blog post-

“You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream.”

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2 Responses to "Bailiffs, ‘Stolen’ Cars, and the Ice Cream Caper"

  • Nektario Terry Tiganis says:
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