PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Sometimes Nichol Halverson parks her older model SUV on the street overnight in her Portland neighborhood. She’s never had a problem until a few weeks ago when she headed out to go to work. Her SUV was gone.
“It’s awful just to feel like something was taken, was just taken from you and how easy it is, too,” Halverson told KOIN 6 News.
But what came next was a complete surprise.
A speed camera on Marine Drive captured a stranger at the wheel of her SUV and his passenger a couple days later. The ticket came to her by mail — with their picture attached.
She said she was “super surprised. I know I didn’t get a ticket,” she said. “I immediately went online and saw their photo and I was, like, it’s so crystal clear.”
In the meantime she joined a Facebook page called The PNW Stolen and Recovered Vehicles Group. Once again she was surprised — someone in the group posted a pic of her SUV in an area near Johnson Creek.
“I’m so thankful for those looking out for each other. That’s all you can count on these days,” she said.
After she recovered her SUV she found some evidence in the back seat showing how they may have taken it.
“They are called jiggle keys and any of these can get into any ’90s car,” she said.
Halverson believes the people who had her SUV took it off-roading, damaging the steering and leaving other calling cards. “They drew all over. They left me a note on the head rest. They left a knife in the console.”
She’s now taken to social media to see if anybody recognizes the two people in her car. “I posted a picture of them on my Instagram and social media,” she said.
And she took steps to safeguard her SUV in the future. She got a new vehicle tracking device from Amazon and she disables her vehicle overnight.
“I’m removing the wire from my car so they can’t start it and keeping all the valuables out of the car so they don’t break any windows,” she told KOIN 6 News. “They’re pretty smart. If they want something they will get it so you have to protect yourself.”
Halverson contacted the Portland police about the incident. At this time, KOIN 6 News has not heard back from PPB officials whether they were looking for the pair seen in the speeding ticket picture.