It’s not unusual to hear stories about stolen vehicles, but it is unusual to learn of one being returned.
That was the story percolating on coffee row in Warman this week following the theft of a bus.
OK Tire owner Darwin Davis said he parked his vehicle, that serves as an advertising billboard, at the side of the highway Tuesday evening.
It’s a location he parks at often, to be ready for the commuter traffic the next morning.
But, by Wednesday, the bus was not where he left it.
“For somebody to steal a bus that is labelled and wrapped and very bright with OK Tire advertising and phone numbers, (it’s) just not easy to hide,” Davis said.
Hours later, Davis and a customer located the bus and the alleged thief outside the Warman Hotel.
The 47-year-old claimed she just needed a ride up to Big River to pick up a cheque.
She was apparently planning to return the bus with an apology note which Davis read as they waited for police to arrive.
“So I’m thinking to myself, you know, it says: ‘please find it in your heart to forgive me,’ and this and that and that she would gladly pay for the fuel that she’s used,” Davis said. “I’m thinking ‘Aw geez what do I do here?'”
That’s when RCMP took over.
Officers admitted it was a rather unusual case because not only was the “stolen” bus returned, but in their experience, offers to pay for gas never happen .
Davis said felt for the woman, but in the end, he said she made a bad decision.
“I wish she would have just started the bus up and let it idle for two, three hours, have a sleep, turn the heat on and then, you know, get back out of it when it’s daylight and then start walking again.”
The woman faces charges and will be in court in November.