A Good Samaritan who tried to help the victim of a car crash in Cowichan Bay instead found himself the victim of a truck theft.
Darren Campbell was coming home from a night shift around 5:20 a.m., driving down Cowichan Bay Road near Wessex Road, when he saw a car in the ditch on the side of the road.
“The horn was going off and lights were flashing,” said Campbell. “I was worried about maybe someone being inside it.”
He put his emergency lights on and jumped out of his truck, ran to the car and looked inside, but couldn’t see anyone.
“I did see two licence plates sitting on the passenger floor, thinking OK, this car could be stolen,” he said.
As he emerged from the ditch, Campbell heard his truck start up.
“[I] looked in the driver’s side and there was a guy in there with a mask he was wearing with a…grin on his face, I could tell,” he recalled. “He looked at me and made eye contact and he put pedal to the metal, and he was out of here as fast as he could.
“He was hiding in the bush waiting for me to go look into the vehicle in the ditch.”
Campbell called RCMP and later found out from people living in the area that a man was knocking on their windows and doors at 3 a.m. wanting inside.
Neighbours said the man didn’t want them to phone police, and he said he wanted to phone his wife to come and get him.
Campbell said he’s now faced with a vehicle thief having his keys to his house and his identification.
“I’m old school, like seriously if the guy came up and knocked on my window and said ‘can you give me a ride home, I just put my car in the ditch,’ I would have given him a ride,” he said. “We’re humans, right? We help each other out.”
Campbell said he would still stop and try to help if he was faced with the same situation again.
“I don’t believe the guy really had any intention, he just wanted to get away,” he said. “I think he was scared more than anything.”
But there’s some good news. Campbell’s truck was found by people motorbiking near Payne Road at Old Lake Cowichan Highway and police are now fingerprinting it.
Anyone with information is asked to call North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.
With files from CHEK’s Tess van Straaten.