Recovered stolen excavator
Photo courtesy Nanaimo RCMP

A stolen excavator has been returned by the Nanaimo RCMP, but the owner is still struggling due to lost business and damages.

Joelena Piket, owner/operator of Rise and Shine landscaping, based in Black Creek, had her $40,000 excavator stolen from the Comox Valley in March.

The Nanaimo RCMP street crimes unit was able to recover the excavator, a Kubota U17, on a rural property south of Nanaimo, on May 5th.

The next day, police returned the Kubota U17 to a grateful Piket, but she says the loss left her near the end of her rope.

In fact, the landscaping operator says she had been thinking of selling her house just to stay afloat. “I was that desperate,” Piket told the RCMP.

Unfortunately, with nearly $15,000 in repairs needed to repair the excavator, including replacing the vehicle’s roof and stripped gears that suspects removed, Piket is still in need of help.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the beleaguered business owner with her financial situation. As of 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, just over $2,000 has been raised.

Police say there have been no charges laid yet in the recovery of the excavator, however they are still investigating.

Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every day.