When goods are stolen from inside someone’s vehicle, it rarely grabs attention or news headlines usually reserved for more serious crimes. But on Tuesday, items stolen from a vehicle on Canada Drive in St John’s caused heartbreak and headaches for a group of people.
Alicia Chaulk recently moved back to her hometown of North West River Labrador from Mount Pearl. She decided not to take two paintings with her, because she was worried about them being damaged in the U-Haul on the long drive. She left the items with her boyfriend in St John’s until they could be moved safely.
One painting is of Chaulk’s late grandfather, Steven Chaulk, who was very special to her. She received the painting as a gift in 2017 about a year after Steven passed away.
“It’s an original painting, there are no copies of it. He was like my father, he raised me. That painting had a big significance for me,” said Chaulk.
The other painting was created by Chaulk’s boyfriend, Jeff, as a birthday present. Like the painting of her grandfather, there is no other copy.
“My boyfriend drew that for me for my birthday, and it’s me as Wonder Woman,” said Chaulk.
“It symbolizes me leaving my past behind, trying to start new, I guess you can say; making a fresh start and being strong.”
The sentimental paintings were in her brother's truck as he and his future wife waited in St John’s for a medical appointment. The couple had agreed to transport the paintings back to Labrador.
That night the vehicle was broken into and everything, including the paintings, was taken.
“I’m really devastated and I’m just praying that we get them back," said Chaulk. "There’s no monetary value to them – it’s beyond that – it’s memories for me and there’s no copies.
"These are all that I have, once they’re gone, I can’t get them again.”
Chaulk is pleading with the person, or persons, to leave the paintings somewhere they might be recognized and picked up for her to retrieve.
The owners of the vehicle are also feeling devastated. Audrey Paul, from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, was with her fiancé William for their son’s Janeway appointment in St John’s.
Paul was shocked to discover the theft because there was no broken window or damage to the truck. She is confident the vehicle was locked.
“They must have had some kind of device to get into locked vehicles,” she said.
Among the stolen items was a camera, laptop, $700 in cash, and various bank and identification cards. The laptop contained the couple’s wedding plans and the cash was to pay for expenses on their return trip home to Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Even their vehicle registration was stolen. Only couple of toys were left behind.
“They took our insurance and our registration," said Paul. "They took all of our mail papers that was left in there."
Paul says her husband's credit card was used since the theft and she is hoping this might lead to an arrest, and her belongings being found.