Selene Thoms’ vintage convertible was stolen in broad daylight, right before her eyes.
The incident, described by Thoms as “very brazen,” has left the residents in disbelief, questioning the safety of their seemingly tranquil neighborhood. “It’s unbelievable to me that in North Asheville something like this could happen,” said a visibly shaken Thoms.
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The stolen vehicle is not just any car; it’s a distinct classic 1990 XJS Jaguar convertible, sky blue in color, a gift from her grandmother on her 24th birthday. Thoms underscores that the car holds more sentimental value to her than its intrinsic worth. “It’s a beautiful car,” she recalls, emphasizing its uniqueness in the Asheville area.
Bob Byron, the owner of Rye Knot, expressed his shock and called the incident unfortunate, marking it as a first in his business's three-year history. His establishment offers free parking in a large lot, attracting numerous customers. “It’s kind of shocking that something like this happened, but I really think that it was just someone saw an opportunity and took advantage of a situation that probably could have been avoided,” he pondered.
Unfortunately, the only outdoor camera installed at the venue had its view obstructed by a tent top, making it impossible to capture the daring heist on tape.
Thoms relived the horrifying moment, thankful that her 7-year-old Great Dane, Lilac, her “gentle giant” and constant companion, wasn’t inside the car. She admitted to leaving her keys in the car, absorbed in her pet, unaware of the lurking danger. “I was so close to the car, paying more attention to her and not thinking,” Thoms regretted, adding that the incident has been a harsh awakening, altering her perspective on safety and protection.
Despite the shock and the lessons learned the hard way, Thoms remains optimistic, hopeful that the tight-knit community and the uniqueness of her classic convertible will play a pivotal role in reuniting her with her cherished possession. “With any luck, somebody will call it in and I might be able to get it back,” she said, appealing to the community for help and vigilance.
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of life and the importance of vigilance and awareness, even in places we consider safe and protected. The residents of North Asheville, along with Thoms, wait in hopeful anticipation for the safe return of the stolen classic convertible, a symbol of familial love and cherished memories.
Source: ABC 13 News