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Car theft victim takes matters into his own hands

Halton Police Vehicle | Oakville News
Halton Police Vehicle | Oakville News

Frustrated with purchases racking up on his mother’s stolen debit card, the victim of an auto theft decided to go looking for the thief himself - a move that Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) labels "very dangerous."

One night, in November last year, Rami Temani was looking forward to meeting his mother at Goodlife Fitness at Oakville Place mall.

When he met up with her, he learned that his mother had left her car keys and wallet in a locker at the gym - both were, now, missing.

Temani immediately knew that their 2021 Nissan Rogue had been stolen.

So he phoned up the HRPS to report the theft.

Around the same time, his mother’s bank alerted her about transactions that were piling up on her debit card. Over $800 had been used at gas stations and convenience stores in the area.

Temani’s dad, upon finding out that their car was stolen, had resigned all hope of it being found. He had to come to grips with losing all of his work.

Khaled, Temani’s dad, owned a trucking business and kept “everything in [his] car - briefcase, paperwork, documents, etc.”

Temani, meanwhile, decided to drive to every gas station and convenience store nearby, hoping to find their vehicle. The 9-1-1 dispatcher he spoke to discouraged him from doing so.

But Temani found the dispatcher to be rude, so he carried on with his search.

After driving around for about an hour, he was shocked to find their vehicle behind a Petro-Canada gas station in the area of Upper Middle Road East and Eighth Line. It was just three kilometres away from Oakville Place.

He called the police right away.

Upper Middle Road East and Eighth Line | Openstreetmap
Upper Middle Road East and Eighth Line | Openstreetmap

HRPS officers turned up on scene and arrested a 37-year-old woman from London, Ontario. She's been charged with several offences and was held for bail. 

Although Temani threw caution to the wind and took on the burden of recovering his own vehicle, HRPS is warning residents of the dangers of going after criminals.

Steve Elms, HRPS’ Media Relations officer, wants the public to contact the police right away, and not chase after them.

Elms claims that when you go up to a car thief or a criminal, “you have no idea who you're going to be dealing with. They may be armed. There may be multiple suspects.”

Going after criminals is “our job,” says Elms. “That’s why we’re here.”