A Mission woman wants to warn the public of the dangers of leaving your keys in the car.
On March 15, at about 3:30 p.m. the driver – who wants to remain anonymous due to concerns for her safety – stopped at a local grocery store on First Ave. in Mission.
“I decided to leave it (the van) running because my daughter stayed in there,” she explained.
According to the woman, she was only in the store for about two minutes when her 22-year-old daughter charged in saying someone stole the van.
The daughter said the man jumped in the van and she told him he was in the wrong vehicle and he needed to get out.
“He looked at her in the passenger seat, looked her right in the eye, reached over and locked the door,” said the mother.
The suspect then put the vehicle in reverse and sped away with the daughter inside.
“She (the daughter) ends up jumping out at about 35 km/h.”
The daughter broke a bone in her foot when she jumped from the van.
According to Mission RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Shaun Wright, the incident began after the male suspect entered a liquor store in downtown Mission and stole a bottle of vodka.
After leaving the store, the suspect entered the van and drove away.
Wright said the suspect subsequently fled from the vehicle in the area of Horne Street and First Avenue but was located a few blocks away.
Police arrested 46-year-old Sean Pappas of Mission and charged him with one count of unlawful confinement, one count of theft over $5,000, one count of theft under $5,000 and one count of failing to comply with recognizance.
He was held in custody to appear in court. Pappas was subsequently released on bail.
The driver said she’s not happy that the man has been released.
She’s concerned because Pappas “knows what my van looks like, he knows what my daughter looks like,” but she has no idea what he looks like because she was in the store the entire time of the incident.
The driver requested a picture of Pappas, but said the RCMP could not provide one because of privacy issues.
According to the provincial court database, in January of this year Pappas was charged with several offences in Mission, including using an imitation firearm, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, assault with a weapon, assault and uttering threats.
He was released on $250 bail at that time, and the charges are proceeding through the courts.
Pappas was convicted in 2007 of manslaughter in the 2004 death of a 21-year-old man in Peace River, Alta.
Pappas punched the man once in the head, causing an artery in his head to tear and killing him. He was sentenced to a jail term of 27 months.
In 2012, he was charged in Grand Prairie, Alta. with two counts of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, and one count each of possession of the proceeds of crime, possession of ammunition while prohibited and possession of cannabis resin.
Pappas is scheduled to appear in Abbotsford provincial court on April 20.