Shell gas station in Qualicum Beach, located at 2712 Island Highway W. (Google Maps photo)

Shell gas station in Qualicum Beach, located at 2712 Island Highway W. (Google Maps photo)

Quick-thinking Qualicum Beach boy safely talks his way out of vehicle stolen with him inside

Truck was taken from gas station with youngster inside

A quick-thinking eight-year-old boy helped avert a potential nightmare scenario on Thursday in Qualicum Beach.

The boy’s father, Aaron Johnson, had stopped in his truck at the town Shell station at 2712 Island Hwy W. He and the youngster’s older brother quickly ran into the store, with the younger boy choosing to stay behind.

Within seconds, a random woman jumped into the vehicle and began driving away with the boy still inside.

Johnson said he had only been in the station’s store for a second, just enough time to pick up some gaming cards for the boys and take them to the cash register. When he exited, he immediately noticed his truck was gone and his youngest son came running up and telling him what had happened.

“My son said he was banging on the window and just saying over and over, ‘please let me out, please let me out.’ And he had been very stern with her,” said the boy’s mother, Dallas Kobylnyk. According to the boy’s statement, the woman listened and pulled over along Memorial Avenue. The boy scrambled out and ran back to alert his father.

“I had my truck keys on me and it’s a keyless truck. I guess because my keys were still within sensor distance of it, it still came on,” said Johnson.

While on the phone with the police, Johnson said two people arrived and identified themselves as the woman’s mother and a friend. They had apparently arranged to meet the woman at the gas station.

Johnson said his own cellphone was left in the vehicle. The woman used it to call her mother, who was still beside him. She asked to speak to Johnson, who calmly and sympathetically coaxed her to return his vehicle, undamaged.

“I said thanks for dropping my son off, if you bring my truck back in one piece, I’ll put my word into the police that I’d just like to see you get some help,” said Johnson.

She did return, after having been gone about 45 minutes, driving to Errington and back.

READ MORE: Crooks pilfer vehicle donated for fire department training in Qualicum Beach

When she got back to the gas station, the RCMP were waiting.

Sgt. Stephen Rose of the Oceanside RCMP confirmed that police had received a report of a stolen vehicle from a gas station in Qualicum Beach on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m.

Rose confirmed the account, saying the woman was distraught and appeared to be in crisis. The woman was taken the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for an assessment. He said the incident remains under investigation.

“I’m going to be a lot more cautious. You think you live in a nice seaside community and that these things are big city problems, but it can happen anywhere,” said Johnson.

Both the boys were kept home Friday.

“This could have been extremely disastrous, this is not your normal scenario. By the grace of ‘something’ it was OK and my son was fine. I’m sad for (the woman). I’m sad for my son,” said Kobylnyk. “People need help, big time, right now and there’s not enough resources.”

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Crimequalicum beachRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Thieves pilfer trailer, camera, tools, cigarettes and cleaning supplies

Parksville, Nanoose Bay feature prominently among 226 complaints to Oceanside RCMP

Mary Ellen Campbell, president of the Parksville Museum, visits the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: A chat with Parksville Museum president Mary Ellen Campbell

Podcast: Talk includes plans for 2021, dealing with COVID-19 and more

Eaglecrest Golf Club plans to operate as a nine-hole course starting April 1. (Eaglecrest Facebook photo)
Eaglecrest Golf Club in Qualicum Beach still plans to have course layout reduced to 9 holes

Town council continues to negotiate lease for 18-hole operation

A rendering of a proposed housing development located across from the beachfront in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Multi-residential development planned across from Qualicum Beach waterfront

Residents raise variety of concerns about project

Proprietor of Sweet Truck, Morgan Ray, as she hands off her baked goods to a customer. (Photo courtesy of Avrinder Dhillon Photography)
COVID-19: Qualicum Beach baker eyes move back from food truck to bricks and mortar

Storefront offers more stability amid growth in sales: Ray

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)

Most Read