Brazen thieves made off with a $12,000 all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in the early hours on Saturday despite attempts by neighbours to stop them.
Darwin Benson, of Grand Forks, was victimized by thieves who targeted his prized red Honda ATV on Saturday night.
“Those bastards took my quad,” steamed an obviously frustrated Benson. “We nearly got them as they were taking it!”
Sometime between 12:30 and 1 a.m., rustling noises behind the apartment complex on 6 Street and 75 Avenue in downtown Grand Forks roused Benson’s neighbours.
“I heard them as they were trying to start the engine,” said the downstairs neighbour. “My girlfriend phoned the police then went to wake up Darwin, while I went out to confront them.
“When I got out there they split up; I chased the one heading for Observation Mountain, but was barefoot, so I couldn’t get far. The other kid started up the quad and drove it east on 75 Street.”
The $12,000 quad was equipped with a side pull starter. Benson had a lawnmower-like starter installed in case the battery ever died. It was news to him that the key was not needed to start up the engine.
The best description available is that the two individuals were young.
RCMP attended the scene, taking statements and information on the quad, then proceeded to scour the city. At least three vehicles were cruising around the streets and alleys, but they couldn’t pick up the thieves’ trail.
Another neighbour at the apartment complex raised more suspicions by remembering incidents of two years ago in the same location. In that incident, a dirt bike valued at $3,500 was chained up in the carport when a thief was caught in the act of stealing the bike. After retrieving the bike from the attempted robbery, it was stolen again. This repeat incident has left residents at the complex wondering if there is a group of thieves working together who are getting more confident.
Meanwhile, Benson is not amused.
“I drove around all night but couldn’t find anything. At this point, it could be anywhere… in a garage or in a truck to Kelowna, I don’t know,” Benson commented. “The timing is awful; I’ve got some friends coming in from Quebec in two weeks to go on a hunt. Without the quad, we’ll likely have to cancel what we’ve been planning for a year.”
The ATV is a 2009 red Honda, with a double-seat and windshield.
The Boundary Sentinel is offering a $500 reward for information leading to repossession of Benson’s quad. Individuals with information are directed to contact Constable Halvarson at the local RCMP office 250-442-8288.