UPDATE AUG 21 4 p.m.:
After an exhaustive four day search, an eagle eyed Castanet reader spotted Vibey off the beaten path, giving this story a happy ending.
Vibrant Vines owner, Wyn Lewis says thanks to Castanet and the huge media attention, Vibey's abductors were forced to abandon the little truck. They probably drove the winery's work horse until it ran out of gas.
Lewis says he received a call from Kelowna resident, Steven Wylie, who had spotted Vibey and wished to claim the reward of one case of Woops wine.
Wyn rushed to Vibey's side where he found the truck way up the gravel end of Goudie Road, off Hwy. 33.
“The caller said he was certain he had found Vibey,” shares an excited Lewis. “So I set off in hot pursuit and there was the truck. Vibey was in good health and there was no evidence at all of any malicious damage.”
The RCMP removed Vibey on a low loader to conduct a thorough forensic search, which the winery staff all hope will secure the apprehension of Vibey's 'cowardly abductors.'
Wyn laughs that of all the trucks to steal, Vibey was not the truck. It has a tiny gas tank, can't go over 40 km/h, is highly visible and not very road worthy.
“Vibey is now having his check up, courtesy of the RCMP forensics lab,” chuckles Lewis. “Once he has been released we will be having one monster of party here to celebrate his safe return.”
“We are grateful to the community for the help and I suppose grateful to his abductor for not damaging it,” says Lewis.
UPDATE 11:30 AUG 19, 2014
A brightly decorated winery truck is still missing despite its colourful exterior and look.
In an added attempt to have the vehicle returned the, the winery came forward with photos of four individuals who were around at the time Vibey's key went missing. Vibey is what the workers call their little work vehicle. After we posted the images people came forward to identify the people in the photos and they have now been pulled down.
According to Vibrant Vines' marketing manager, Paul Eaton, the photos came from their security footage.
The four people, featured in the photos, then all get in a white or silver F250 or F350 truck they had parked on Pooley Rd. at 3.30 p.m. on Sunday.
The winery then claims later that night a man drove Vibey off the property.
Cst. Kris Clark says they are aware of the theft and images have been provided to RCMP investigators who are looking into the matter.
Eaton says they are hoping the individuals in the photos will contact the Kelowna RCMP.
Vibey the missing winery truck is a customized Suzuki covered in bright decals.
We will have more details as they become available.
A brightly decorated work truck has been stolen from within the locked grounds of Vibrant Vines winery in Kelowna.
'Vibey' is a customized Suzuki truck covered in bright decals. According to Vibrant Vines' marketing manager Paul Eaton, the vehicle keys went missing around 11 a.m. Sunday.
When workers closed up the shop and left around 5 p.m. the little truck was still there, but by 9 p.m. it was gone.
"Someone possibly took the keys from the truck, kept them and returned later," said Eaton.
Somehow the thieves were able to open an electric gate that seals the property, grab the truck and take off.
"It's got to be one of the most unusual trucks and it's not insured either, it's just for vineyard use, it's not to be taken out on the road."
Eaton said they're quite sure it's not an employee or friend playing a practical joke.
Cst. Kris Clark of the Kelowna RCMP says they are aware of the theft and an investigation is ongoing.