Two of the latest victims of a car theft in Williams Lake are a couple in their 90s.
On Sat. Dec. 8, 93-year-old Harris Wilkinson woke up to discover his 1990 dark blue Dodge Dynasty had been stolen from the driveway at his home in the 500 block of Pigeon Avenue.
At first he chastised himself for leaving his keys in the car, but then realized he had brought them in with his wallet the evening before and put them on a shelf.
Harris is also an electrician and there were tools in the trunk.
So aside from losing his only means of personal transportation, he’s now lost the tools he uses for odd jobs.
When he realized the car was gone, Harris said it felt like he had a team of horses and “they fell dead.”
Once or twice a day Harris drives his car.
He transports his wife Bernice to her doctor’s appointments, meets friends for coffee, he goes to the post office, or goes grocery shopping.
They always drive to attend church at the Calvary Tabernacle on Sundays, but as a result of the car theft, weren’t there last Sunday.
“He’s been walking up to the mail boxes to post the mail. Mom does a lot of corresponding,” their daughter Rose Wilkinson said. “Dad has sustained a couple of broken hips in the last two years so the car has been his main mode of getting around.”
The Wilkinsons have been married for 63 years and have lived in Williams Lake all that time, where they raised six children.
Harris arrived in Williams Lake to work at the powerhouse generating station, where he stayed for three years until he joined the army, serving overseas in places such as England, Belgium, Holland and Germany during the Second World War.
His car has veteran license plates, said his daughter Lillian Mikkelsen.
“I can’t say it’s the first time I’ve had a car stolen,” Harris recalled. In the 1950s someone stole a little black car of his.
“A friend called and asked why our car was parked on Carson Avenue out in front of their house. They asked if Harris had tried to take it up Carson Drive and couldn’t make it,” Bernice said chuckling.
Prior to the car theft last weekend, the only other incidents they have experienced since moving to Pigeon Avenue in 2008, were an egg being thrown at the house a few months ago, a first-aid kit was stolen from the glove compartment of the Dynasty a few months ago, and Harris noticed someone had been checking the gas tank to see how much gas was in the Dynasty.
“I guess they pried it open and after that it didn’t lock anymore,” Harris said.
Loss of the car has hampered the Wilkinsons’ independence, they said.
There are not too many 93-year-old drivers, Harris agreed, but said he has received a notice every second year since he turned 80, requesting a doctor’s note declaring he is fit to drive.
“Last time the doctor charged me $75 to tell me I could drive,” he added.
Rose said it’s sad that innocent people have to pay for things in more ways than one.
“It’s been emotional, financial and the actual physical fact that the car is gone. They will probably only get about $500 after the deductible. ICBC won’t reimburse him for the tools, he’ll have to go through house insurance for that.”
The theft was reported to the Williams Lake RCMP on Dec. 8, but so far the car has not surfaced.
“It was an old car, but it got us around,” Harris said.