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Impacts of crime felt by family of 86-year-old Williams Lake woman

A truck which provided the 86-year-old with independence was stolen, damaged by thieves
An Ford F-350 pickup after it was taken and damaged by thieves. (Photo submitted)

The daughter of an 86-year-old is frustrated at thieves who took the truck which provided her mom with independence.

“Just think about the impact you’re having on other people,” said Leslie Bryant, daughter of the truck’s owner, who relied on the vehicle to remain living on her own. Her daughter lives in the Okanagan and her son lives in Alberta.

Leslie said the thieves should have known the truck belonged to an older person, because it still had veteran plates, as her father was a veteran of the navy.

The truck, a Ford F-350, was an older model, but was in amazing condition for a 2006, according to Leslie. It was taken from outside a downtown automotive repair shop Aug. 17 and reportedly recovered in Big Lake Aug. 23. The truck had been modified, changing or painting the tailgate, and grill, removing wheel well covers, the tires and taking off one of the running boards. The transmission was also reportedly no longer working.

Before being stolen, the truck allowed her mom Gail Bryant to remain living 20 km out of town on her rural property, where she has been since 1978. After her husband George passed away in 2012, Gail has driven the truck in to town once a week to get supplies, including hauling about 400 lbs of animal feed every two and a half months.

Gail’s husband had the truck well-outfitted with extras, according to both Gail and Leslie, and Gail worries how her mother will afford to replace it with something decent being on a fixed income.

“It has severe impact for someone in my mom’s position,” she said, noting she also worried about how the loss of the truck might impact her mom emotionally, given it was sentimental because it was George’s.

For her part, as Gail Bryant waited to hear from ICBC what the settlement would be for her to replace the vehicle, she said she hopes it doesn’t take too long to settle the claim so she can figure out what to do next.

“I’m doubly depressed,” she said of her emotional state, noting she has to “pep” herself up and try not to get too frustrated with the system.

A friend has loaned her a vehicle for the time being, but Gail is not sure how long her friend will be able to help her out.

Requests to RCMP for information on the incident were not returned in time for printing.

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