This is the ‘best stolen car story’ I’ve heard

Travel + Leisure is calling this “the best stolen car story I’ve heard.” Beatriz Olimpia-Cherubin, managing editor of CBC.ca and Zesty, was in Toronto on July 7 when her car was stolen. It took…

This is the ‘best stolen car story’ I’ve heard

Travel + Leisure is calling this “the best stolen car story I’ve heard.”

Beatriz Olimpia-Cherubin, managing editor of CBC.ca and Zesty, was in Toronto on July 7 when her car was stolen. It took her by surprise when she arrived home and discovered that the keys to her 2013 Range Rover HSE and a spare set of keys had been stolen from her driveway. Immediately, she began checking her bank accounts for fraudulent charges, but all the charges she’d discovered had been fixed.

She did a little more digging into her personal data — as per usual — and discovered that her account had been broken into using a credit card number that had been stolen from someone else and entered into her account. It was also the first month that she’d switched banks. Again, she sent an alert to her bank requesting that they freeze the card, but it was too late to do anything. Three days later, she noticed a suspicious transfer from her U.S. account to a Halifax product called “Spare change.”

[MT @KdouglasSA] Hijacking new accounts with stolen data is a common practice, but taking credit card numbers, payment card numbers and addresses from someone else’s accounts without permission is considered fraud.

This does not appear to be Drake’s car. pic.twitter.com/C4ORkBgaHf — Georges Mikrut (@georgesmikrut) July 15, 2016

To make matters worse, the spare set of keys to the original car were found in the pocket of the man who had been convicted of the theft.

On Aug. 20, the same vehicle was stolen in nearby Oshawa, Ont. Five days later, the vehicle was ditched and left near one of the city’s most popular recreational playgrounds. The vehicle was found nearby and located on Aug. 27.

All along, Olimpia-Cherubin had been sending text messages to her bank manager, explaining that she no longer had access to her accounts. None of her alerts had been clued in by the bank.

“When I’m on vacation, my main worry is that they’re going to kidnap me and drag me back to Mexico. But this is probably the worst kind of kidnapping,” she told CBC’s Marketplace in September. “This is about ransom.”

A month later, Olimpia-Cherubin was given the news that the stolen car had been traced to the Port of Halifax. In a followup Marketplace report, she said the amount of money in the account was unknown, but that she was told that the “smash and grab” thefts usually involved only thousands of dollars.

“It would have been nice to have an email or something for proof of what happened,” she told Marketplace.

Since being released from the hospital, Olimpia-Cherubin has been driving a rental car.

On the heels of this story, my stolen car was recovered in Canada — with my car key & spare set of keys in it. Now I’m out a $2500 rental car & will never be able to rent it again. — Victor P. Perez (@VP214) September 29, 2018

The story certainly has a happy ending for her, but it doesn’t end there. The police report indicates that once the stolen car was returned to Olimpia-Cherubin’s address, a Canadian flag was erected outside. It was adorned with the word “voyage” and some signs marked with skulls and crossbones. The actions of the police were disturbing, Olimpia-Cherubin believes, and frightening.

Read the full story at Travel + Leisure.

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