KERNERSVILLE, NC:: Timothy Weavil spends most of his day inside his house, tucked under the covers of his specialized bed. The bed is like what you would see in hospital, it can be raised up and down and tilted forward and back, “I can’t really do much,” said Weavil.
It has been like this for the better part of 10 years, all because of a single car crash that left Weavil paralyzed. Now a quadriplegic Weavil has movement in one arm but that’s it, “I must have someone take care of me around the clock,” said Weavil.
One of those people Weavil relied on was Todd Brindle, “He would help out overnight if I needed something,” said Weavil. Brindle lived in Weavil’s house and while he was not the main caretaker he would assist Weavil with different things and drive him to and from doctors’ appointments.
In exchange for helping out Weavil paid Brindle a small weekly stipend and allowed him to use the specialized van to run errands on occasions.
It seemed like a fine arrangement until Brindle took off one day with the van and other items of Weavil’s, “He stole my van and went to South Carolina,” said Weavil.
In fact Brindle was actually seen in social media pictures in Myrtle Beach with the van. Weavil contacted the Stokes County Sheriff’s Department to get his van back. Unfortunately, detectives were a bit hamstrung because Brindle was an “authorized user” of the van.
A detective did reach Brindle by phone and told him to bring the van back before any charges were filed. Brindle didn’t return the van and by now it had been more than a week. At that point the sheriff’s department sought misdemeanor charges of “unauthorized use” of the van, “We did seek charges but the magistrate chose not to issue charges,” said Lt. Joey Lemons
As the days and weeks ticked by Weavil started to miss more and more doctors’ appointments, “You don’t know how important it is until it’s gone, when you are without it you can’t get to appointments or do anything,” said Weavil.
Desperate to get the van back Weavil again contacted the Stokes County Sheriff’s Department who once again sought charges with a magistrate. This time they were successful as the magistrate not only issue an arrest warrant for Weavil but charged him with felony larceny instead of a misdemeanor unauthorized use of the vehicle, “Different magistrates have own discretion to issue warrants,” said Lt. Lemons.
With a warrant in hand Sheriff’s detectives entered the van in a national database for stolen vehicles. A few days later a Kernersville Police Officer found Brindle sleeping in the van at a Walmart parking lot, “I’m glad he got arrested,” said Weavil.
So what can you do to protect yourself in a situation like this? The Stokes County Sheriff’s Department suggests you have a signed document that clearly states the driver can use the vehicle “only” when you are in it. It doesn’t guarantee a magistrate will see it your way but it certainly helps.
In this case the amount of time the van was missing also played a role in the magistrate seeking charges. At some point the law goes to “intent to deprive” which is most likely what happened in this case.
Weavil is just thankful he has his van back, and hopes it keeps working for several more years.