By Andrew Ardizzi
|Bob Heroux's Scat Rat seen here during a past competition. Image provided by Heroux family.||Â|
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan -- July 4, 2014 -- Lazer Autobody owner Bob Heroux is offering a $10,000 reward for tips leading to the safe return of his family's 1968 custom Oldsmobile Cutlass race car.
The car, a purple-painted racer known as the "Scat Rat" that depicts a rat along the side, was stolen from Lazer Autobody's premises over the weekend preceding Canada Day. The car has been in the family for over 32 years and holds a great deal of sentimentality to its owners.
"It was bought when my daughter was only eight months old, and that was 31 years ago," he says. "I raced the car for years, then my daughter raced it, and now my son had been racing it."
Heroux believes the car, which has won the family a number of racing and show awards, was targeted for the theft, having just been fitted with a new $20,000 motor within the last two weeks.
Following the theft, video surveillance from a nearby gas station indicated the car was being housed in a trailer being pulled along by a dark coloured Dodge truck. The trailer was later found empty 27 km southwest of Saskatoon near the city of Vanscoy.
Heroux says the RCMP and the family ultimately tracked the vehicle down following a tip from a CN railworker to a yard in Grandora, located 23 km west of Saskatoon. Authorities and family members found pieces of the car there, includingÂ the roll bar, while the complete roll cage was found outside the car, indicating the top of the vehicle was cut off to get the rest of the assembly out. As recently as July 3, Heroux says the family and RCMP have found the majority of the car's pieces that had been removed.
|Pieces of the Scat Rat lay strewn across a field near Saskatoon. Image provided by Heroux family.||Â|
"We have found the whole body which has been cut into numerous pieces, including the chassis which was found in the same yard where the CN worker originally spotted it," he says.
With many of the pieces recovered, Heroux says they are still missing the $20,000 recently-installed engine, the roof, the truck lid body and the roll cover.
Yet, there's much more to the "Scat Rat" than nuts, a body and customized purple paint; the sentimental value that can't be measured sums up the true worth of the award-winning racer.
"It unites us as a family and it's uniting our commmunity. I am very proud of my car and the great lengths my kids are going to so we can get it back," Heroux says, already certain of what their future plans are for the car. "We're going to rebuild it using as much as we can from the original."
Heroux thanks his family and the community for working hard to recover the "Scat Rat," especially noting the efforts of the RCMP who really pushed the investigation forward once they got involved.
Saskatoon Police have made arrests in connection with the car's theft, however no details have been released concerning the names of any suspects.
If any community members have any further tips leading to the remaining pieces of the race car, specifically its engine and doors depicting the iconic rat detailing, Â they are encouraged to contact Lazer Autobody at 1-306-934-2887. Lazer Autobody is also on Facebook.Â
|The Heroux family has recovered most of the Scat Rat's individual pieces/ Image provided by the Herouxs.||Â|
|Part of the Scat Rat's infamous logo adorns one of many pieces of the family's beloved vehicle that has been recovered. Image provided by Heroux family.||Â|