Surrey RCMP mix-up cost Jim Wigmore his work truck
20 months after it was stolen, Wigmore is trying to get his truck back even though it's been found
B.C. landscaper Jim Wigmore says a towing company has his stolen truck because police got the vehicle identification number wrong, and now he can't afford to get it back.
It has been 20 months since Wigmore parked his 2006 Ford pick-up truck at Wards Marina in Crescent Beach for a day of summer fishing.
But when he went to drive home, it was gone.
Wigmore reported the truck stolen, and gave police a complete description and papers that included the vehicle identification number.
He says he thought it would be found in no time, and it was — three days later near a Surrey SkyTrain station. However, it took police a year to tell Wigmore it had been found.
Wigmore says he needs a truck for his part-time landscaping job at Art Knapp's, where he makes not much more than minimum wage. Since his truck was stolen, he has had to buy another one.
"I'm going, why and how, you know? You've got my current address, you know. I've got my phone number. Why wasn't I contacted when it was found?"
CBC News finds Wigmore's truck
CBC News found Wigmore's truck at Surrey Wide Towing. But when Wigmore went to get it, he was told he owed $5,000 in storage fees.
Wigmore, who moved to B.C. from a recent job in the Alberta oil patch, had Alberta plates on his truck when it was stolen and no theft insurance. Therefore, he could not afford to reclaim it.
To add insult to injury, the towing company is allowed to legally possess vehicles like Wigmore's after they have gone unclaimed for a year.
Wigmore says Surrey RCMP have admitted they incorrectly recorded the stolen truck's vehicle identification number.
"I would appeal to the RCMP to ask the towing company to release my vehicle without the impound fee," he said
As a result of the CBC News investigation, Surrey RCMP Sgt. Dale Carr says they're reviewing Wigmore's case.
"If there's something to suggest there's an error on our part," said Carr, "we'll put him in touch with the processes that are in place to ensure that he gets his vehicle back."
With files from the CBC's Eric Rankin