Letter: Car thieves, in Sault Ste Marie?


SaultOnline received the following letter from a woman who recently returned to the Sault and just two days before her birthday, had her vehicle stolen.

“Car thieves, in Sault Ste Marie?, never would have I thought of such a thing.

Don’t think just because you have double clicked your key fob that you are impervious to someone breaking into your car… apparently, vandals and thieves can get it without triggering your car alarm.

My car, a 2013 Silver Toyota Venza plate number BSMH 637 was stolen from my driveway on Bellevue Ave near Pim St and Summit between Midnight and 9 am on Friday March 27.
The back bumper has scratches and a Finland Flag and has a silver owl hanging from rear view mirror. It is a four cylinder AWD with leather interior.

It was the first car in that price range that I purchased myself for my 50th birthday.
The Venza took me across Canada last summer, I had always wanted the experience of seeing Canada, so after I sold my house in town, it became my home away from lack of home. It was fantastic camper SUV for me and gave me the freedom to explore Canada, never did I have issues on my trip. Upon my return I started to search for a new home – not qualifying for a mortgage because of my age and the fact that I’m on disability I was limited to purchasing something within my means to purchase without a mortgage.
I settled on a house that needs some minimal work mainly a mold issue in the basement.  I was told and could visually see the problem that needed to be dealt with immediately upon possession.

I just moved to a new to me house last month, spent thousands of dollars having mold issues rectified before I could even move in. While gutting the mold out of the basement I found additional problems increasing my virtually non-existent minimal repair budget to more then doubled my budget. I had to hire professionals to do the mitigation of the mold, put in heat into the basement, a labourer take out an old wood fireplace that could not be commissioned at all and got quotes on to fix the basement plumbing which is failing. I had to pay a contractor to remove the oil tank left buried under the stairs of the house, reinstall all mold contaminated or rotted out wall studs and baseplates and then rewire the corroded electrical. I found a leak in the foundation wall which needs repairing, Insulation needs to be installed in basement because it is non-existent, carport roof leaks like a strainer and to boot the appliances sold with the house did not work leaving me with extra expenses and dump fees.

So needless to say it became a can of worms.

Now, some of those issues will be put on hold, that’s partly to my car being stolen.
I’ve been sick at home for two weeks, not Covid-19, just regular flu, so my car has sat in the same spot unused for 2 weeks.

Now you may be wondering how did the thieves drive away? Well, as I mentioned I just moved back to the Soo and had not been organized enough to bring my son my spare keys, hence all the spare keys were in the car console waiting for me to get healthy enough to drop off to him for emergency.

So once the thieves got past the locked door and alarm they had a free for all, they could have entered my house, my storage unit, etc. and thankfully they did not. it could be worse.

All I wish on my birthday for now is to get my car back in good condition as I can’t afford to purchase another one and to be able to finish the repairs on my house.  Please keep a look out.

Happy Birthday to me.”

Maarit Steinwedel


  1. Maarit
    Just wanted to inform u that because u are on disability that u may qualify for the emergency fund through housing. I would have qualified but my father’s name is also on my mortgage. I would have to take his name off to qualify but I am in the same boat as u. On disability! These mortgage companies and other places think just because we are on disability, we are unable to afford anything. It is hard to qualify for anything. Sucks.

    • It won’t replace the actual value it only replaces what they deem the value to be, which is less than a third of the original buying price.

  2. I am very sorry for all of your difficulties. I wish I could offer you more than my wishes that things will soon turn around for you. You’ve certainly done us all a favour by giving us a reminder about how easy it is to have a vehicle stolen.
    God bless .

  3. Car thieves have been here for a long time. Dont confuse them with Nicolas Cage’s sexy fun crew of charismatic and ingenious car thieves from gone in 60 seconds.

    Nope these are opportunists. Addicts. Teens out for a good time at someone’s expense. But they’re all taking advantage of one key opportunity. Not one could hotwire a car if you put a gun to their head.

    They all found the keys.

    In the ashtray, glove box or console. Or they stole a purse or bag that had the keys and the car owners home address.

    A close friend had their van stolen once. Were the keys in the van? Nope. That was locked up tight. But the spare set was in the console of their pickup which was not locked.

    Another story I know has the car locked up tight but there was a laptop bag and iPad in plain sight. A rock through the window later (by the way tempered glass actually breaks quietly compared to plate glass so you’ll likely never hear it happen) and the thieves took an extra look. Guess who had the spare keys in the console?

    Never leave anything in your car to attract thieves. Even change in plain sight is enough for someone with an addiction to feed. Never leave the keys in your vehicle. Christ…how many movies are there where the keys are hidden in the visor?

    Yeah. It sucks. It’d be nice to be able to leave our vehicles however we want them, unfortunately no amount of indignation is going to stop someone from stealing your stuff.

    • It’s not like people intentionally leave things in their car to be stolen. I left my passport in my car once and it was stolen. Did I leave it there on purpose? It was obviously an accident. Saying those words “don’t leave valuables in your car” to someone who has already had the theft is the same as yelling at a crying kid to stop crying, or asking you to not think about a pink elephant, obviously it’s unavoidably what you’d think about. Accidents happen, all we can hope is that the car turns up.

  4. Spring is here so hopefully good weather will come. Its great to walk and this sounds lile a good chance to use public transit…i thing everyone likes a little excerise. You will find this is a good thing. No insurance and no gas..you are lucky! Count your blessings ..Happy Birthday

  5. Imagine being surprised at thefts in this city? Take a walk through the downtown core at night, you’ll be shocked just what goes on in this city.

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