Sébastien Michaud thought he’d probably by no means see his beloved 1992 Honda Prelude once more.
On Oct. 27, in a single day, a thief stole the automotive — from proper in entrance of his Moncton dwelling. Within the morning, he woke as much as an empty driveway and shattered glass.
“I used to be freaking out,” he mentioned. “I used to be pondering possibly that is it. Perhaps that is the final time I see my automotive.”
Michaud mentioned he reported it to the RCMP, who instructed him the “odds had been slim” of discovering it.
However almost a month later, with the assistance of a whole lot of automotive lovers on social media, the Prelude was discovered after a residents’ pursuit tracked down the automotive throughout three provinces.
Michaud is a self-described “gars de char,” or automotive fanatic, and mentioned he is spent years engaged on his blue Prelude.
“When the automotive got here out in 1992, I used to be 11 years outdated and I keep in mind pondering to myself, ‘In the future, I will have one among these automobiles,'” he mentioned. “I simply cherished the traces, I cherished the aggressive look and the rounded edges.”
When one got here up on Kijiji in 2006 — in the fitting shade of blue — Michaud purchased it.
He is been engaged on it ever since, doing a few of the repairs himself and with the assistance of a neighborhood mechanic. The Prelude would take to the street in the summertime and keep in storage within the winter.
“I wasn’t going to promote that automotive ever, I used to be going to maintain it endlessly. That was the plan, and I am very fortunate to have it once more,” he mentioned.
Michaud mentioned he thinks the thief was probably educated about automobiles and by some means knew in regards to the battery kill change within the engine bay, which was there to stop theft.
He mentioned the particular person probably broke the windshield, hot-wired the automotive, flipped the change and took off.
After reporting it to the police, Michaud turned to Fb to share that his automotive had been stolen. That is when folks round the Maritimes stepped up.
Xavier Roy-Lanctôt, a younger auto fanatic, unfold the phrase in on-line teams for folks excited about automobiles.
He did not know Michaud, however had seen the blue Prelude round Moncton prior to now.
“It is a distinctive automotive, in a novel color. We do not see loads within the province like that,” he mentioned.
The day after Roy-Lanctôt shared images of the stolen automobile on-line, somebody in Charlottetown reported seeing it. It was additionally noticed in Halifax.
Then, whereas attending a automotive occasion in Salisbury, two associates from Nova Scotia mentioned they noticed it on the Massive Cease in Aulac, N.B., with out realizing it was stolen.
Situated in Nova Scotia
Roy-Lanctôt pushed ahead along with his investigation. He contacted the gasoline station to ask if there was safety digital camera footage.
“We had discovered his face, we had been capable of finding his Fb. After that there have been a number of individuals who knew who the man was and what automotive,” he mentioned.
“All over the place he would go, he’d get his image taken.”
The blue Prelude was finally discovered by municipal police, deserted on the aspect of the street in Amherst, N.S.
Michaud thinks the thief gave in to the “warmth of social media.”
Roy-Lanctôt, who presently drives a 1989 Honda Accord, mentioned when he noticed Michaud’s “delight and pleasure” has been stolen, he simply wished to do what he may to assist.
“When a complete neighborhood comes collectively, it proves the massive issues we will accomplish,” he mentioned.
“If it occurred to me, I might prefer it if somebody did that for me.”
The thief remains to be on the run. The New Brunswick RCMP confirmed to Radio-Canada on Sunday that it’s investigating.
1000’s in damages
Michaud mentioned whereas he is extremely grateful to have the automotive again, it wants about $4,000 to $5,000 in repairs.
And discovering components for a 31-year-old automotive is hard, he mentioned. The handles of the doorways are destroyed, the ignition is in items and plastic is lacking across the steering automobile. The automotive is presently being evaluated by Michaud’s insurance coverage firm.
Michaud not too long ago drove the automotive for the primary time because the theft to take it from the storage, the place he had it towed to winter storage. He will not be leaving it in his driveway once more.
“Throughout that drive I nearly cried as a result of I used to be simply so comfortable to be reunited with my automotive.”