A stolen cab from Terrace was found destroyed at a rest stop en route to Prince Rupert last week.
On Sunday, Feb. 16 at approximately 10:45 p.m., Terrace RCMP received a report from Kalum Kabs Ltd. that a cab was taken from their parking lot on Lakelse Avenue.
The visibly-wrecked vehicle was then located by a passerby the following day, Feb. 17, on the river bank at the Basalt Creek Rest Area along Hwy 16. The driver was taken to the hospital in Prince Rupert.
“We had concerns that whoever was driving around, that they have this taxi as an option to lure people into their vehicle,” says Bryan Halbauer, CEO of Kalum Kabs Ltd. “We put some posts out there [on social media] to tell people not to catch a ride from our [#12] vehicle because it’s not one of our drivers.”
Halbauer says the cab was left running outside of their dispatch office when the driver stepped in to retrieve paperwork needed for his shift.
A surveillance camera shows the front gate was not locked when a man entered the property to inspect the vehicle, got into the driver’s seat, left and then returned a few minutes later to drive off.
Halbauer says Kalum’s cabs all have GPS trackers but the one in the cab was disabled shortly after the theft took place.
Although police have not released the motive behind the theft or why the driver was headed towards Prince Rupert, Halbauer says this is not the first time they’ve had a vehicle stolen off their lot or on shift.
“We had a truck stolen out of our compound just a few months ago which belonged to one of our drivers and then about a year ago, one of our drivers had a passenger spray him in the face with black paint,” he says. “He thought he was being maced and the woman then stole the car [during the drive].”
Kalum Kabs owns 19 vehicles (minus the one now) for its operations in the Terrace area which all have specialized computer systems that cost thousands of dollars to replace.
Halbauer says the company has filed theft and cost of destruction report with its insurance company as the vehicle is unsalvagable.
New vehicles were ordered before the incident which should be circulation within the next month or so.
Halbauer says the practice of leaving a cab running is quite common amongst drivers when grabbing a coffee or paperwork as every time the vehicle is turned off, it takes about five minutes for the computer system to restart.
Following this theft, Kalum Kabs is now looking into other options that can ensure the cabs are locked while running when errands are being run.