A man was caught on surveillance stealing a van from an Alexis Park area home early Monday, July 25. (Video still)

Van stolen in Vernon, ditched, then car allegedly taken from Salmon Arm

RCMP tell owner the thief took a salvage yard employees vehicle after his broke down

The camperized van parked in front of his house was supposed to be David Beriault’s home for the next month, until it was stolen.

The Vernon resident sold his Alexis Park area house and has to be out Aug. 1 but hasn’t found a new home yet. He was planning on just sleeping in his van, but a thief changed those plans July 25.

“I woke up and I walked outside, and I’m like, ‘where’s my van? Did I leave it somewhere?” Beriault said.

A tall male suspect had rifled through his other vehicle and found the van keys early Monday morning.

Beriault caught the suspect on his video surveillance and reported it to the RCMP.

Later that day he got a call from Salmon Arm police that his van had been found on Highway 1.

“He killed her somehow, the engine gave out on it.”

Police told the owner that the suspect asked about getting money for the van from a salvage yard north of Salmon Arm. But instead of retrieving the van, Beriault was told the man got into one of the salvage yard employees’ vehicles and stole it.

RCMP are still investigating.

While his van is toast, and a fob for his other vehicle is gone, Beriault did get some of his possessions back, plus some extra stuff.

“At some point between stealing it and him ditching it, he loaded it up with 20 boxes of Old Milwaukee empties,” he laughed.

A bike locked to the top of the van was still in place along with some climbing gear in the back.

Beriault isn’t too concerned about himself, as he’s plenty of friends offer to let him stay at their places until he buys his next home.

“It will all work out.”

It’s unfortunate, he said, that others resort to theft, but he understands it.

“They’re struggling to get by, that’s why they are doing it.”

Along with routinely having people rummaging through the garbage at the back of his house, Beriault said this isn’t the first time they’ve targeted vehicles.

“At least once or twice a year some shady person comes around and goes through our vehicles. That’s why I have a camera.

“It seems like, from the footage I’ve seen, it is being committed by quasi-homeless people.”

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