Theft victim eager to see minivan thief caught

Grateful to have her family’s minivan back, Giang Pritchard is now intent on seeing justice served to the person

A surveillance still Giang Pritchard posted online shows the man she suspects stole her family’s minivan from an underground parkade last week in downtown Sylvan Lake.

A surveillance still Giang Pritchard posted online shows the man she suspects stole her family’s minivan from an underground parkade last week in downtown Sylvan Lake.

Grateful to have her family’s minivan back, Giang Pritchard is now intent on seeing justice served to the person who stole it from her underground parkade in the early hours of March 19.

And she wants it not for her own satisfaction, but rather to ensure others don’t fall victim to the same crime.

“If he did this to me, you know it didn’t stop him from doing it to other people,” she said. “I don’t want to scare people, I just want them to be aware.”

Pritchard first learned her minivan had been stolen when she went to take her daughter to school, and realized it wasn’t in the underground parkade where she’d left it.

On Saturday, it was found parked behind an apartment building not far from where it had been stolen.

While the vehicle appeared to have suffered only minor damage to the exterior, several items of value had been taken from inside.

Pritchard said she wasn’t yet sure exactly what items were all missing, as she turned it over to RCMP almost immediately after it was recovered.

“It looked like he had discovered that my gas light was on and realized that he wasn’t going to get far, and so he probably just ditched it,” she said.

After realizing her van was gone, Pritchard took to the Internet to post information about its disappearance, along with screenshots of surveillance footage showing the man she suspects is responsible.

Her online posts generated a strong reaction from hundreds of people in Sylvan Lake and across the province who shared them through Facebook in the days following the theft.

And she’s grateful to those who helped spread the word.

“It’s been amazing from near and far,” she said, adding she hopes others will benefit from hearing about her experience.

“To some people, it’s just a stolen vehicle, but it’s our belongings, and they don’t have any right to it.

“They have no business touching our stuff that we work hard for.”