Community social media pages help find stolen vehicle

Social media was the catalyst in finding a truck and trailer stolen from the Barriere Industrial Park July 22.

A stolen truck and trailer was quickly found in Avola last week after the Thompson-Nicola community members worked together with local RCMP.

Robert and Jana Holstein noticed the white pick-up truck hauling a trailer outside their compound after being alerted by their guard dogs. While they say it is not an unusual situation, they quickly realized the side gate was open and someone had stolen one of their customer’s trucks.

Jana said despite his best efforts, Robert was unable to see which way the culprits turned onto Highway 5.

“We attempted to contact the owners of the truck and we left voice messages,” she said in an email to the Star/Journal. “But we knew we needed to reach out to the communities quickly.”

They quickly posted a message to local Facebook pages, including TNRD community pages and highway pages in both British Columbia and Alberta, asking for the community’s help.

“Last night at 2:00 a.m., thieves struck our place in the Barriere Industrial Park,” the Facebook post read. “Our gate locks were cut and a vehicle was stolen from inside the compound! This happened even though our dogs went crazy and we live on site.”

The Holstein’s said they began to receive messages reporting details and sightings almost immediately, including security camera footage of the truck and trailer passing through Little Fort.

The customer had confirmed that the truck and trailer from the compound was theirs and Barriere RCMP later confirmed a white Ford F-350 diesel crew cab pick-up truck was taken from a commercial business along the 5000-block of Barriere Town Road, also confirming the damage to the gate and time.

The truck and trailer were later recovered in Avola by local RCMP the following day after a tip from Jodi Panter.

“It was so random that I was on fb, like, three mins after we drove by and I seen that post in my feeds,” Panter wrote in a message to the Holsteins.

Owners Marion and Sue Syfchuck were notified of the recovery and had the truck and trailer towed home to Barriere.

Thanks to social media, they have found our truck…Thanks for everyone sharing. If not for this site, it (wouldn’t) have been.”

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