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OPINION: A victim of crime

ATV enthusiasts gather for a fun run on P.E.I.
(Guardian File Photo)
ATV enthusiasts gather for a fun run on P.E.I. (Guardian File Photo) - The Guardian

RCMP confiscated ATV because it was - surprise, surprise – stolen!

BY LYNDA LUKEY

GUEST OPINION

This is a saga of an ATV I purchased for summer use at my family cottage in Cape Tormentine, N.B. back in the spring of 2016. Oh, that green ATV side-by-side photo with the reasonable price looked very good. Of course it’s a used vehicle and I didn’t want to make any questionable, unknown, shady-parking, alley-type purchase. So, I researched the farmers who were selling it and found them to be reputable members of the P.E.I. community. In fact, they assured me that they themselves had purchased the ATV from a P.E.I. dealership employee no less.

Since the Motor Vehicle Traffic Act doesn’t require ATVs to be registered for off-road use, paper work only became a problem when the vehicle got a flat tire. The RCMP found it on a near-by trail when my son went for help to fix it. The RCMP had no choice but to confiscate and tow the ATV because it was - surprise, surprise - stolen!

Now, do you remember as kids playing musical chairs … The last one is without a chair … In my case, without an ATV and out of pocket.

Yep, the ATV was hot and the vehicle act registration omission keeps the underground off-road vehicles with no tax sales going. Of course the P.E.I. farmer and the dealership employee are all in denial that they even knew the ATV was hot and given their reputable business status on the Island, they will certainly not be doubted.

Here’s where my lesson had been learned; no matter how reputable the seller may appear, when I questioned legally the fairness of their profiting off stolen goods . . . what do you think they did? Well, instead of helping me buy back the ATV from the insurance company claims for a vey low minimal amount, they decided instead to spend thousands on a lawyer to quote, “Buyer beware,” and repeatedly threatened me that if I told this story they would sue me.

Double ouch!

The RCMP has questioned the previous owners on P.E.I. and my court case has been initiated there also.

I have no ATV and seriously out of pocket and so now as a crime victim, this little, no name tale is all I have.

I hope this story will allow others to benefit from my situation. The lack of registration required for off-road vehicles appears to be a problem for all Maritimes provinces.

- Lynda Lukey is a resident of Port Elgin, New Brunswick, with a family cottage in Cape Tormentine.

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