A widowed, senior citizen who had her car stolen in December is appealing to the public for financial assistance to have the vehicle returned from Calgary.
“I’ve really been sick about it,” said Vivian Dunphy, 71, of Denmark, whose 2011 Kia Rio was stolen from Hilden in mid-December. “I can’t sleep, I can’t get my mind around anything else.”
It was a real cold day, Dunphy recalled, and she had started her car to let it warm up for another older woman she was planning to take grocery shopping. She went back inside the seniors complex in Hilden to help the other woman get ready but when she came out about five minutes later, her car was gone.
“I was just dumbfounded,” she said. “I couldn’t believe anybody would do such a thing.”
In early February, Dunphy was notified by the RCMP that the car had been located in Calgary. She was also subsequently notified by the City of Calgary that it had been towed to an impound lot and, while safe and secure, it could not be recovered until the towing and impound fees totalling about $1,500 had been paid.
Dunphy’s son Dennis said that after contacting a city official and explaining the situation, the person agreed to waive the impound fees. However, they are still looking at a cost of more than $2,000 to have the vehicle shipped home and neither Dunphy nor her son are in a financial position to cover that fee.
And time is running out because the city has set a deadline of April 17 for the vehicle to be claimed from the impound lot or it will be forcibly entered, any personal property within will be disposed of and the car will be sold at auction, with no compensation to Dunphy.
Not only would that leave her without a vehicle, a hardship in itself because she lives in a somewhat secluded rural area, but she also still owes about $6,000 on the purchase loan for the car.
“I’m just getting by (financially),” Dunphy said. “I don’t have any savings…. I’ve never felt so bad.”
The situation has prompted her son to create a gofundme page in an effort to raise the required cash to bring the vehicle home.
“My mother could use the help of our compassionate community during this stressful and uncertain time,” Dennis Dunphy says, on the gofundme page. “I feel it is unfair that my mother is being penalized for a crime committed against her and I am hoping that empathetic members of the community will help in any way they can. I would greatly appreciate anyone willing to help with the cost of bringing my mother’s car home.”
Anyone wanting to assist can do so by logging onto the following url: https://www.gofundme.com/help-bring-mom039s-stolen-car-home .