Members of the auto community in Calgary are offering support to a Vancouver man who was a target of vandalism.
Last Saturday, Dominic Schep found two of his tires on his Dodge Journey slashed. Three days later, there was more vandalism.
“On Wednesday, we discovered that they also keyed, like, the whole right side of our vehicle as well,” he said.
“You just feel very helpless. You don’t know anyone here, you’re not fighting with anyone, and then they do something like this,” Schep said Friday.
He believes he was targeted because of his B.C. plates. He is currently staying in Calgary for school. He is taking a pilot training course at the Springbank Airport.
“I mean, everyone is panicking, and everyone is afraid,” he said, referring to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“So I can imagine that people get angry, but we were here already, and for, like, an essential reason.”
Schep said he reached out to LAD’s autobody shop about bringing his vehicle back to have his tires replaced.
After learning of Schep’s unfortunate situation, David Dansereau from LAD’s autobody shop rallied support from members of his automobile community to help replace and repair the damage free of charge, all unbeknownst to Schep at the time.
“I thought, ‘Are you kidding me?’ It’s kind of crazy. So I got a little angry at it,” Dansereau said. “I thought, you know, we’re better than that here in Alberta.
“Why don’t we see if we can get the towing covered as well. I wanted to make this a no-cost repair, and show that not all of us have that type of feeling to our neighbours. I mean, we’re Canadians… and I believe we all need to work together to get through this.”
The deep scratch would also require a new paint job, which was covered free of cost by Uber Autobody shop.
Sales manager Chase Maxwell said stepping up was an easy decision.
“I was thinking that you always hear stories of something like this happening in B.C. to red plates,” Maxwell said.
“But something happening in our own backyard isn’t quite as good. So I knew this is something that we definitely have to help out with, and it’s not fair to him to have to pay the bill, especially when the insurance company is not willing to help him out.”
From the tow bill to new tires to the paint job, the total bill was estimated at around $5,000. But for Dansereau, it’s about more than the money.
“It wasn’t about the cost,” he said. “It was just making this right.
“I didn’t feel that Dominic should have been treated this way, and it doesn’t matter whose plates you have on your vehicles or where you’re from, we’re all neighbours. Let’s treat each other right.”
Schep said he plans to park his vehicle in his garage going forward, and then head back to Vancouver when his course is over. He’s overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
“I mean, we saw, like, the worst from people and, like, the best from people, and that’s great,” he said. “It’s so nice to see, like, someone just randomly helps you out in this way.
“I mean, we were already preparing to pay, like, a lot of money for this because we needed to get back on the road, and then to see that someone wants to do this for free…”
Calgary police said both incidents were reported to them but there is little evidence to proceed with an investigation. However anyone with information is asked to call police.
People are encouraged to report these incidents as police say such reports are used to track crime trends.
Schep said he has a dashcam but because of the snow, it did not capture any video.