A local racing team can count the Saanich Police among its extended pit crew after officers recovered parts reported stolen from the University of Victoria Formula Motorsport team on April 24.
The timing of the recovery could not been more timely as the team is currently competing at the Formula SAE event at Michigan International Speedway that runs through May 11 after starting on May 8. The University of Victoria will arrange expedited delivery of the parts to the team.
The Society of Automotive Engineers is staging the race, which serves as a competition for engineering students to develop and construct a single-seat race-car for the non-professional weekend autocross racer with the best overall package of design, construction, performance and cost. UVic is among 120 registered teams competing.
Students first reported the items stolen on April 24. UVic said in a release that the parts had a worth about $3,000 and represented thousands of hours of work by the team. According to the release, some parts took years to design.
Sgt. Julie Fast of the Saanich Police said members of the Street Crime Unit followed up after the stolen car parts appeared for sale on Used Victoria.
On Wednesday, May 8, officers arrested a 48-year-old Victoria man for possession of property obtained by crime after officers identified attempts to sell the parts. Fast said police know the Victoria resident well. He will be appearing in court later this morning.
“We wish them the best of luck during their competition year,” said Fast.
News of the recovery will likely please the team members, who showed great resilience after the theft. Despite the theft, the team remained committed to fielding a team. Accordingly, it put out a public call for the return of the parts and started to raise funds to replace the needed parts. To save their season, the students sourced replacement parts but didn’t have the means to pay for them, according to UVic.
The UVic Alumni Association representing more 120,000 alumni donated $2,500 to help pay for the parts after hearing of the team’s plight.
“We proudly stand behind the team to support their perseverance, team spirit, ingenuity and commitment to excellence – qualities which are the very hallmarks of UVic,” said UVic Alumni Association president Peter Jong in a release.
Now that team also includes Saanich Police.