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Stolen car recovered in a day and left in limbo for 21

Maggie Tamo
Maggie Tamo's Range Rover | Maggie Tamo

Maggie Tamo’s 2021 Range Rover Sport was stolen from her driveway overnight on Dec. 19, last year.

The next morning, she realized and reported the theft to Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) right away. An officer from the HRPS called her later that night to take a report.

Tamo had several videos that captured the suspects stealing her car as well as the vehicle the thieves used to arrive at her place. Her Range Rover was driven to the parking lot of a plaza where the GPS tracker was dismantled. She even managed to get footage of the cars in the parking lot from nearby businesses.

But, in what seemed like a fortunate turn of events, Tamo’s car was recovered merely a day later by Peel Police in a massive auto theft ring bust.

She was happy when she found out.

Her Range Rover was soon towed to Lyon’s Auto Body Shop in Mississauga by Peel Police. The police don’t have towing capabilities, so they work with local businesses.

Tamo followed up at the police station and left with a “white slip” - a formal request to release her car to her insurance company. However, repeated attempts to get Lyon’s to release her vehicle were unsuccessful.

Tamo’s car sat there for days.

Daily, compounding charges accumulated.

Her insurance company, Desjardins, contacted the company more than four times to request the payout on her car so they could settle the balance owed, collect the car, and start repairs.

Meanwhile, given her insurance policy, Tamo was expecting a similar substitute vehicle to replace her Range Rover. But the vehicle she received wasn’t the same calibre, leaving her frustrated with the high premiums she pays.

Desjardins, however, claims that they have given Tamo discretion, and if she opts for a similar substitute vehicle, she will burn through her $3000 rental limit much sooner.

“As an option to maximize rental coverage, a client can choose to drive a rental vehicle in a smaller class as an option to lower the daily rate vehicle, however it is to the discretion of the client.” - Desjardins, in a written statement.

Insurance lawyer Jill Edwards states, “if [Tamo] is renting a Land Rover, the rental costs will use up that policy limit much faster than if she rented a standard SUV or sedan.”

Edwards explains that one would be wise to opt for a smaller class vehicle as they “would likely get twice as many rental days with a standard vehicle compared to a luxury vehicle, and once the limit is reached, they would be paying out of pocket for the rental.”

While waiting for Desjardins to pick up her car, Tamo had already used over $1,000.

Then, her vehicle, after being picked up from Lyons, was about to be towed to another auto body shop before she, luckily, corrected them in time.

“They were going to tow it to the auto body shop and I had to tell them that it goes to the dealership or place that is going to repair the mechanical first before the auto body shop. Thankfully I caught that.”

Coventry North, her dealership, then came up with a repair estimate: $30,000.

It wasn't until Jan. 16 that Desjardins finally approved repair work to begin. 

One day, she received a cheque for $7,713.84 from Desjardins, which had her scratching her head. Tamo claimed that “the appraiser hadn’t looked at the work at Coventry North. There are over $30K in damages. And they send me a cheque for $7K.”

Edwards isn’t sure but thinks the cheque might have been sent in case Tamo wanted “to write off the vehicle.”

Tamo is a single mother to a 13-year-old son and drives him around to school and hockey games. She says the situation has been stressful.

“I’m sure I’m not the only one in this position.” - Tamo

Tamo recently got her vehicle back "in drivable condition," although she is waiting for additional auto parts to finish repairs.