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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Stolen Cadillac from NOTL driveway found torched in Welland

Niagara-on-the-Lake's Megan Vanderlee didn't expect to wake up on Friday to discover her 2007 Cadillac Escalade had been stolen from her driveway in Virgil.

She kept her hopes up that it would be found — and later that day it was. Only it had been burned to a crisp.

Her once black family vehicle was now a torched, grey mess sitting in a Welland impound yard.

Niagara Regional Police said they discovered the vehicle late on Friday near Biggar and Morris roads.

“They found it at 10:30 Friday night, so it must have had a good romp somewhere.  I guess they somebody called in a carbecue,” Vanderlee said.

“I don't know how they got it on the (tow) truck, mind you. They must have dragged it up the ramp,” she added, curious how it even got to an impound yard after.

When her insurance company said it would need to appraise the vehicle, she said, “Well, bring a dustpan.”

She said the whole experience really “sucks.” 

“Why do you have to burn it?” she asks.

It was her husband John who discovered the truck was gone.

“He got up in the morning and went to work and came back and said, 'Uh, did you loan somebody the Cadillac last night? I'm like, 'No.' “

She was still in shock when police called the next morning to say they had found the Escalade. “He's like, 'Oh, we found your vehicle.' I'm like, 'Yay! Oh my God, that's awesome.' He goes, 'Well, not really.'”

Her insurance company has provided a temporary vehicle for her to use.

She said she would have gladly helped out anyone who needed a ride.

“Knock on the door, I would have driven you to Welland. But no, off it went.” She has no idea who might have taken it.

She said she keeps realizing various sentimental items were in the truck too, such as her '80s CDs, movies her children liked to watch on the way to their cottage, her dog leash and even some groceries.

Police spokesperson Const. Jesse Vujasic said the incident is uncommon.

“It is not the norm. Generally we recover them intact or with minor damage. Some car thieves will destroy the stolen car for malicious reasons or to hide evidence.”



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