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B.C. firefighter's truck stolen during night shift battling Penticton wildfire

Last Updated Aug 23, 2020 at 9:18 pm PST

(Courtesy Connor Callaghan Facebook)

A UBC Okanagan student who fights wildfires in the summers had his truck, all his belongings stolen while he was working

The Callaghans are asking people to be on the lookout for a navy blue 2003 Toyota Tundra with BC licence plate: JY 3181

An online fundraiser has been set up to help Connor Callaghan replace what was taken from him

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Connor Callaghan was fighting a wildfire overnight, working his last scheduled shift of the season, when someone apparently stole his beloved truck from a parking lot in Merritt.

His crew was battling the Christie Mountain wildfire in Penticton B.C.

“We were working through the night on that one,” he says.

When he got back to BC Wildfire Service lot at around 10 a.m. Friday, he went to grab something from the truck — which he’s been using as a camper all summer.

“Once I got there I went to grab something from my truck quickly,” he says, adding at first he thought he may have forgotten where his spot was.

“I walked around the parking lot where all my coworkers were also parked and then realized I knew where I had parked it — it just wasn’t there. It kind of felt like a dream when it happened. I’d been up since 3 p.m. the previous day so I was pretty tired and I didn’t really know what to feel.”

Later, after some urging from family and friends, he took to social media to ask people to keep an eye out for his 2003 Toyota Tundra.

“I didn’t really look at my situation as any different than anyone else who’s had their vehicle stolen, which I still don’t really think it is still. I mean, I had more in it but this isn’t a fun situation for anyone to go through,” he says.

Callaghan lives in Kelowna and is a student at UBC Okanagan. While fighting fires, he camps.

“Basically all of my belongings were in the car. I was living out of that thing this summer,” he says.

His Ipad, laptop, clothes, camping gear and school supplies were in the truck.

“I was surprised to find my beloved truck/camper missing from the BC Wildfire parking lot in Merritt BC yesterday upon return from night shifts fighting the,” he wrote on Facebook.

According to Callaghan, security footage shows the truck leaving the lot around 2:45 a.m. Aug. 21 and location tracking on his iPhone showed it in Mission about an hour later.

STOLEN TRUCK. Navy Blue 2003 Toyota Tundra License plate JY 3181 *If anyone in Vancouver area sees it please notify…

Posted by Connor Callaghan on Saturday, August 22, 2020

While still holding out hope for the vehicle’s return, his sisters have started an online fundraiser so he can replace some of what was in the truck.

“Connor held the truck close to his heart and we don’t think any amount of money could replace the truck’s sentimental value,” the GoFundMe page says.

The sisters say the truck initially belonged to their father.

“The truck has been in our family for 17 years, our dad bought it new in 2003 and sold it to our brother in 2017. Together they have accumulated over 670,000 km on the truck, maintaining it was something Connor and our dad liked to do together.”

The Callaghans are encouraging anyone who spots the truck to call local police.