Couple on work visa left gutted after car is stolen

Plans to fly home tonight cancelled and clothes on their back is all the couple have left

A young couple visiting from New Zealand who worked at Mt. Seymour over the winter are stuck in North Vancouver at the moment after their car with their worldly possessions was reported stolen from near Stanley Park last night.

Molly Tame, 22, who is originally from Australia, and Brad Hawkins, 21, moved to North Vancouver in December, where they rented a house in the Seymour area with co-workers. Tame worked in Mt. Seymour’s sales and marketing department, while Hawkins taught snowboarding.

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“We just finished up work, saved a little bit of money and went travelling for three weeks,” said Tame on Monday morning, standing in a swimsuit and jeans on a side street near the Capilano Suspension Bridge, after all of her clothes were stolen.

The couple wanted one last scenic look at Vancouver on their last day in Canada before flying out tonight at 6:30 p.m. Yesterday afternoon they rode bikes around Stanley Park and took a dip in the ocean.

They parked their car, a 1998 maroon Chevrolet Malibu, in the underground of the Denman Street bike rental shop. The vehicle was packed full of their gear, with their suitcases in the back and their snowboards bagged and bungee-strapped to the roof.

“We were already packed and ready to go,” says Tame.

When the couple returned from sightseeing at around 6:30 p.m., the car was gone.

“I was thinking it got towed,” said Hawkins, of his initial reaction.

He called the impound lots but the Chevy Malibu was nowhere to be found.

After opening a file with the Vancouver Police Department the couple borrowed a car from a friend and spent until 1 a.m. scouring the West End for the Chevy, knowing if they didn’t find their passports by the time the plane left the next evening they would be out $2,000 – the cost of their airfare.

This morning the couple contacted the Australian Consulate in Vancouver and were told it would cost $500 each to replace the passports and that it would take some time.

It’s Hawkins’s birthday in two days. The couple planned to fly to Fiji tonight and celebrate for a few days before heading home to New Zealand for the winter season.

“Everything I have is on me,” said Hawkins. “Imagine your entire house being taken – like literally everything you have.”

Tame’s eyes welled as she listed what they lost: laptops, passports, wallets, IDs, bank cards, camera, GoPro, iPad – about $12,000 worth of gear, along with irreplaceable photos and videos of the couple’s time together in Canada. They do not have insurance for the items.

One of the laptops contains software and educational materials Tame needs to study online for her primary school degree.

“It’s probably going to set me back six months in (university),” said Tame.

The couple have two-year Canadian work visas but say they are reconsidering coming back to Vancouver.

“We had friends who had worked here and they loved it. And we did love it. It’s just really unfortunate that this has screwed us up a lot,” said Tame.

Now left with just the clothes on her back, Tame has a message for whomever took the Chevy which was set to be given away today by the couple to a fellow New Zealander travelling in Canada. 

“They can have the car, we don’t care. Just take it. We just want our passports so we can get home, and all our sentimental belongings,” said Tame. 

Anyone with information about the missing car or belongings is asked to call Vancouver police at 604-717-3321.

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