What a nightmare!
It was a heart-wrenching moment for Linda Lannigan when she discovered her cherished 1989 Dodge Ram truck had been stolen in early August. However, the devastation only deepened when a few days later, she found her prized possession reduced to ashes in a pit in Brooklyn.
See horrifying vintage crash test videos here.
Linda had always planned to pass down the truck to her 18-year-old grandson, Chandler, once her time had come. What made the ordeal even harder to bear was the realization that the thief or thieves had deliberately set fire to the vehicle.
"It's senseless. If they had smashed it, I'd fix it. But to burn it?" Linda lamented.
She had purchased the truck about a decade ago from the late Johnny Power. The acquisition had required some negotiation and patience, but eventually, the keys were in her hands.
Describing her feelings towards the truck, Linda said, "I was like a kid in the candy store. That was my baby."
Over the years, Linda had lovingly maintained the vehicle, having it painted charcoal gray and silver. When it needed new tires, a $750 bursary from Holland College, which she received while going back to school, came to her rescue.
"I loved my truck. That's an understatement," she said.
The loss was compounded by several sentimental items that were inside the vehicle. Among them was a stereo her son had gifted her more than two decades ago for her birthday. There were also keychains from her children's trips to the US, a cherished blanket, some jewelry, and a brand-new set of booster cables.
Though not everything was taken, Linda remained deeply affected by the theft. She still possesses the racks for the back and an extra rim, and she intends to repurpose the tailgate in her garden.
While the truck was insured, it had not been appraised, leaving Linda with modest expectations for her insurance payout. Nevertheless, she is resolute in her determination to acquire another truck identical to the one she lost.
"I don't know how, but I will have another one," she asserted. "If anyone has an '89 Dodge, I'm looking."
Linda expressed her gratitude to her family for their tireless efforts in searching for the stolen truck. A Facebook post about the theft reached an astonishing 60,000 people, according to analytics.
Now, she hopes that someone will come forward with crucial information. She implores anyone with surveillance cameras to inspect their footage for any signs of the truck, either in the Brooklyn area or near her Commercial Road residence, where it was stolen.
"Somebody out there knows something, and I hope they talk," she urged.
Linda's husband, Dennis, also shared his anguish over the incident. "It wasn't just stealing the truck, it was arson as well," he noted.
As of now, the Kings District RCMP have been contacted for an update on the investigation, but no officers were available to provide information before press time.
This isn't the first time the Lannigans have fallen victim to theft. Two years ago, a cement pillar was stolen from their property, intended to serve as the base for a mailbox.
Despite these thefts, Linda maintains her faith in people. As a testament to this, she recently encountered a heartwarming gesture from a stranger. While driving her taxi, she struck up a conversation with three young men who learned about the truck theft. Upon reaching their destination, one of them handed Linda a $100 bill to contribute toward purchasing a new truck, insisting that she accept it.
With this money, Linda plans to buy Dodge floor mats for her new truck, preserving the memory of her old one. She remarked, "It restored my faith in what people are like. Not all people are bad."