‘It’s amazing’: A coincidence helps catch tire thief in Nanaimo

'It's amazing': A coincidence helps catch tire thief in Nanaimo

A Nanaimo man is calling for justice after a tire was stolen off his family’s mini-van.

The early morning theft was caught on the victim’s video-surveillance camera but the best piece of evidence came by a mere coincidence.

Robb McCaghren was checking his video surveillance Thursday when he saw a thief taking a tire from his van.

“He just wrestled the tire off and dropped my vehicle right on the asphalt,” said McCaghren.

The brazen theft happened at 7 a.m. in the driveway of his Harewood home.

It was one of the two tires McCaghren had purchased two months before.

“Disappointment, disbelief at first. I couldn’t believe that someone had taken the wheel right off my vehicle. It’s something usually reserved for movies,” said McCaghren.

McCaghren called his mechanic and told him he needed a tire, just as his mechanic was dealing with an unusual customer.

“He had all the tires worn out on his vehicle except for one new tire that was on the wrong side of the vehicle. It’s a directional tire,” said Mike Balatti, Owner of Top-Lite Car Service.

Balatti asked to see McCaghren’s’ video surveillance.

“Sure enough it was exactly the guy who had dropped off the van for the inspection.”

The tire on the suspect’s vehicle also perfectly matched McCaghren’s other tire.

“I looked online and there are 16 mechanics and autobody shops within a four-mile radius of the house so the odds of him going there [are] pretty slim,” said McCaghren.

“I can’t believe the coincidence. It’s amazing,” said Balatti.

What blew McCagrahn away even more than the theft was his mechanic’s response without charging a penny.

“He came upon his own time. Took pictures. Got all the evidence that he needed to prove that it was actually my tire and brought a mechanic with him and all his tools and put the tire back on my drive-way to make it driveable again. How many mechanics do that for you?”

“I was just helping Robb out. He’s a good guy. I have really good customers,” said Balatti.

It doesn’t end there, however.

When the alleged thief arrived to pick up his van they confronted him.

“I’m sorry I made a mistake OK,” said the suspect in a video recorded during the confrontation.

McCagrhen is taking all of the evidence to police with expectations that charges will be laid.

McCaghren also helped catch a thief near his Nanaimo home in 2017.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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