INNISFAIL-OLDS – A single mother of three young children is desperately trying to move forward after her vehicle, which she depended on for her delivery business, was stolen twice within an 18-hour span and ultimately left in ruins following the second theft.
Red Deerian Lynne McConnell, 34, made a stop in the Central Alberta city on Nov. 5 when at about 4:30 p.m. she left her 2016 Mitsubishi RVR briefly and only six metres away.
She said she saw a couple of men walk by, and then a moment later one entered her vehicle and sped off.
“I ran after him. I didn’t know what to feel at first, honestly. I think I was in shock. Who gets into a car and drives away?’’ she said.
Early the following morning she saw a news story from Olds that her vehicle and theft suspects were found by RCMP.
“The keys were never recovered but two people were arrested,” she said, adding she had her SUV towed at a cost of $700 to the Red Deer Mitsubishi dealership as it was the only place she could have it re-keyed.
“Someone still had my keys.”
Meanwhile, Olds RCMP arrested two suspects who were subsequently released following a bail hearing. “It was none of my business,” said McConnell of learning the suspects in the first theft were granted a quick release.
"Who would ever think someone would drive 65 kilometres to come and steal another car, the same car? Nobody thinks that, right?"But less than 18 hours later her Mitsubishi was stolen again – this time from the Red Deer dealership.
The single mom then got a call in the morning of Nov. 7 that her vehicle was in a collision in Innisfail.
She went to the Mitsubishi dealership and saw the security video, and in plain view was a suspect with her keys in her car.
She would soon learn the culprit was in a head-on collision in Innisfail. The suspect and occupants of the other vehicle sustained minor injuries. The suspect was arrested and charged at the hospital. Her vehicle was towed and is now considered a write-off.
“This is so stupid as I was so excited to have my car back the first time. It was in good shape. There was a dent in the front bumper but that was fine,” said McConnell, who viewed her car the next day to see the front end was gone. “It is a write-off,” she said, adding her vehicle is now at an auto wrecker.
She was given a loaner but by the end of this week that too will be gone. In the meantime, she could be stuck without a vehicle and still has to somehow run her delivery business and earn her sole income.
“Come Tuesday it is gone and I don’t get anything else,” she said during an interview this week with The Albertan.
However, despite McConnell’s misfortune she’s doing her best to keep her spirits up. “You have to honestly, or otherwise you cry,” she said.
Both Olds and Innisfail RCMP confirmed both car theft incidents against McConnell.
Jordan Kyle Glasgow, 20, of Red Deer and Ty Bryson, 21, of Didsbury, were jointly charged in connection to the Olds car theft. Olds RCMP confirmed they were released on an undertaking and both are scheduled to appear in provincial court on Jan. 4.
On the Innisfail incident, only Glasgow was charged. He is now in custody facing charges of possession of stolen property, operation of a vehicle while prohibited, failure to comply with an undertaking condition and two counts of failure to comply with a probation order, as well as two charges under the provincial Traffic Safety Act.
In the meantime, family and friends have created a GoFundMe page to help the now financially challenged McConnell.