My daughter drove from Kamloops to Victoria last week to meet an old high school friend she’d kept in touch with since their cheerleading days in Lorne Park (Mississauga) in the mid-70s. It was her friend’s first visit to B.C., and a wonderful reunion. They saw all the highlights of beautiful Victoria and a visit with me in Qualicum Beach, where we enjoyed a sunset and a starry night at the beach.
She and my daughter then had a wonderful drive up island, stopping at Cathedral Grove and Little Qualicum Falls en route to Long Beach and Tofino. They enjoyed perfect weather and Vancouver Island hospitality, and after an idyllic holiday, returned to my home in Qualicum Beach to inquire whether I’d like to see the sandcastles before they returned to Victoria, where our friend was to catch an early morning flight the following day.
We were enjoying a refreshment on the patio when my daughter fortuitously returned to her vehicle, parked 50 feet up my driveway, to find a young man on a bicycle at her vehicle. Two boys nearby were able to provide a full description of the fellow, who had taken our friend’s purse, containing passport, wallet with all her ID, prescription glasses and numerous personal belongings.
She and my daughter, after phoning police, drove and walked all over town in hopes of finding these items, and rather than enjoying the sandcastles and the sun, spent hours on the phone with police, the airline and the credit card companies. Within an hour the thief (a circle of four as it has turned out) had made online purchases totaling $1,000 at a store in Errington.
What was to be a leisurely drive to Victoria on the scenic Malahat in daylight, and a relaxing evening at their expensive hotel, became an exhausting late night drive to the airport, police report in hand, to insure our guest could catch her 5 a.m. shuttle and board her 7 a.m. flight.
Several wonderful Qualicum Beach good Samaritans aided in the search for the purse and its contents that afternoon, and were on the lookout for the tattooed perpetrator and his distinctive bike helmet, and we thank them very much for that. Someone will eventually find the black leather purse, undoubtedly discarded. Please return it to the police so we may return it to our friend to ease the pain.
Now our friend, a busy business woman, must attend to the time consuming, dreadfully inconvenient, and costly task of replacing all her ID and her only purse, rather than attending to her work, and enjoying the memories of her two-week vacation.
The purpose of this letter is to express our shock and dismay that our Ontario guest had to experience this in tranquil, near-perfect Qualicum Beach after a perfect B.C. vacation.