Lantzville Fire Department has car for training stolen from their hall

WatchThe mechanic who donated the car says it wasn't running and would've taken some effort to steal.

It’s usually Lantzville firefighters coming to the rescue of car crash or fire victims in the area.

But Tuesday morning, the tables turned on the firefighters. A thief stole a car from right outside the Lantzville fire hall sometime between Monday and Tuesday.

“I was actually surprised. Can’t believe that somebody would come in and just take a vehicle away like that,” said Chief Neil Rukus of Lantzville Fire Rescue.

“It’s not there for our use now and we’re not going to get the training out of that vehicle so [I’m] a little disappointed.”

A mobile mechanic has been donating vehicles for firefighter training for the past four months and afterwards he takes them to sell at metal recyclers.

Firefighters use the vehicles to practice using the Jaws of Life to extract people and learn how to respond better to crashes.

Clint Smith says theft from his donated vehicles has been an ongoing issue.

“All of the vehicles were thieved from. Every single one of them. They were jacked up left on firewood/stumps and all the catalytic converters were cut out of them. All of the batteries were taken out of them as well as many repair parts,” said Smith, owner of Ernie’s Blackpoint Repair.

Since his first donation he’s taken out valuable parts and ensured they’re not running but this morning he realized a late 80s Honda Accord was missing.

“But to find out that an entire vehicle, that did not run, so they would’ve had to have a trailer or tow truck or flat bed or something to get it out of there, is pretty brazen,” said Smith.

Not to mention the fire hall is right beside the Island Highway that’s travelled every day by thousands of motorists.

“It’s training that people are taking away from us here at the fire hall. Losing a car like that is a pain. They’re not easy to come by and it really affects the person who brings it in for us so i hope in the future we don’t run into this issue again,” said Rukus.

Late Tuesday afternoon, police informed them the car has been recovered in Lantzville. The chief says he’s going to mark the other vehicles to deter thefts in the future.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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