Black Press Media file photo of N19 bus

Black Press Media file photo of N19 bus

Bus stolen in Surrey overnight after driver took a bathroom break

A 28-year-old man is facing auto theft charges

A 28-year-old man is facing auto theft charges after an N19 NightBus was stolen from the Surrey Central bus loop early Thursday morning.

The suspect’s name has not yet been released. Sergeant Clint Hampton, a spokesman with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police, said the theft happened at about 2 a.m after the proper driver left the bus parked at the loop.

“The bus was left running, he went in to use the washroom, came back out and the bus was gone. He contacted police right away,” Hampton said, adding GPS was used to locate the bus.

“I believe at that time it was around 160th and Fraser Highway. With the assistance of the Surrey RCMP, the bus was pulled over at 176th and Fraser Highway, and the suspect, who is a 28-year-old man, was arrested. Whether or not there’s mental health issues here, that’s of course part of the investigation. Charges have been forwarded for theft of a motor vehicle over $5,000.”

No damage was done to the bus. “There were no other passengers on the bus and nobody else was injured.”

Hampton told the Now-Leader that this is the first time he’s heard of a bus being stolen in this region.

“At least in my time working in media, I’ve never dealt with anything like this,” he said. “I don’t have details on any other incidents like this. If there ever has been, it would be an extremely rare circumstance. I’ve been working on our media side of things for a couple of years now; it’s most certainly something that I’ve never reported on, so it’s not something that we deal with.”

READ ALSO: Surrey teen survives 500-foot fall while climbing mountain in Oregon

READ ALSO: One to hospital following New Year’s Day assault in Cloverdale

READ ALSO UPDATED: One dead following assault at Surrey strip mall

While the Surrey RCMP made the arrest, Transit Police have conduct of the investigation.

Asked if the suspect offered up an explanation for the theft, Hampton replied that “would be part of the ongoing investigation. There’s no real indication, as far as I’m aware, as far as what the motive was here, but like I said, that will be part of the investigation. It’s a strange circumstance, yeah.”

Anne Drennan, a long-time spokeswoman for the Transit Police, and Vancouver Police before that, could also not recall another case of a bus being stolen in this region.

But bulldozers, well, that’s a different story.

Decades ago, someone stole a bulldozer from a construction site in North Delta and drove it into Burns Bog, where in the nature reserve it continues to sink to this day, most of it now swallowed up in the muck beside a trail.

And then there’s that crazy incident on Dec. 16, 1993, when a 26-year-old man who had a bone to pick with the New Westminster police stole a D8K Caterpillar bulldozer from the Ritchie Brothers’ auction yard in Surrey and drove it across the Pattullo Bridge, chewing up asphalt along the way.

Surrey RCMP Inspector Dale Carr was a constable when he arrested the bulldozer thief, and earned a commendation plaque for it.

The thief, for his part, earned 90 days in jail.

“They said that he was unhappy with the fact that he’d been arrested in the previous week by the New West police department and they’d broke his sunglasses and weren’t prepared to replace them,” Carr recalled, many years later.

It was a Thursday, and he’d been eating lunch at the old Whalley police substation when the call came in. He “blasted” down King George Highway toward the bridge, devising his game plan along the way. “I think I’ll block him,” he thought to himself.

The big machine was destined for a gold mine up north, where there’s lots of ice and snow. It wasn’t intended for bridge pavement. The employees had tried to block the bulldozer with a truck but the thief pushed it aside and headed onto the Pattullo.

Carr parked his patrol car on the bridge and went running after it. Well, jogged, maybe. The bulldozer was only travelling about three kilometres per hour.

“He’s on a mission to go to New West,” Carr recalled. “Once it’s moving, what do you do?”

The driver started heading for the side railing after Carr jumped aboard. “I’m thinking to myself, if he hits the railing with the front, I have time to jump before it goes over. He’s totally ignoring me.”

People were running alongside the dozer, yelling “Shut the machine off.”

“I have no idea how,” Carr remembered. “I’m like, What?”

All of a sudden, Carr said, the guy jerked the dozer straight, and the Mountie fell off. He dusted himself off, got back up and by now the guy was wielding a crowbar as Carr was yelling at him to turn the dozer off.

With the thief distracted, another fellow on the other side of the dozer jumped on the machine and turned it off. Carr had a hard time trying to pull the thief off before realizing he had a seatbelt on.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The BC Hydro Dam at Alouette Lake. (The News files)
Alouette Lake boaters may be left high and dry

Hydro plans may bring down water levels of Maple Ridge lake in future summers

(Black Press Media files)
Snowfall expected for Lower Mainland on Saturday night, Sunday morning

2 to 5 cm of snow predicted Metro Vancouver, according to Environment Canada

Jim Graham caught the sunrise Tuesday, Jan. 19 along the Fraser River looking toward Mount Baker. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Sunrise over the Fraser River

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Elise Gouin (left), tech peer to Jocelyn McLean, in booth at CEED Centre Neighbourhood House. (Christian Cowley/Special to The News)
New seniors programs at Maple Ridge centre help isolated connect

The CEED Centre Society is offering two new seniors programs

Nobody will be turned away from the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministry in the next couple of days as temperatures are expected to dip below freezing. (THE NEWS/files)
Ridge Meadows Salvation Army calls for extreme weather response

Freezing temperatures forecast tonight and Friday, snow on the weekend

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Post-COVID-19 recovery clinic in Surrey, at Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. (Photo: Fraser Health)
Surrey gets one of three post-COVID-19 recovery clinics

The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre is located at 9750 140th Street

Competitors make their way through the course at the 2019 Canadian Cross Country Championships, which was hosted by Abbotsford in 2019. (File photo)
Abbotsford to host 2023 Canadian Cross Country Championships

Clearbrook Park last hosted the event in 2019, Ottawa hosting 2021 and 2022 races

Abbotsford Police officers investigate the scene after a pedestrian was struck and killed on Friday morning. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Male pedestrian, 37, killed in Abbotsford after being struck by vehicle

Collision took place in 31800 block of South Fraser Way on Friday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Most Read