A Saskatchewan family’s hope of recovering at least a few precious mementos from their stolen U-Haul came true New Year’s Day when an “alert citizen” spotted the truck in an Abbotsford, B.C., parking lot.
The Suiker family’s move from Saskatoon to Victoria was marred by the Tuesday night theft of the moving van, after they’d made a stop in Surrey, B.C.
After the family appealed for help finding the missing truck, it was spotted Friday afternoon at around 2:20 p.m. PT in Abbotsford, abandoned near Sumas Way and McConnell Rd in a Rona parking lot.
An “alert citizen” saw the Facebook posts, recognized the U-Haul truck and told an officer investigating a nearby crash, said Abbotsford police, Cost. Ian MacDonald of the Abbotsford Police Department told CBC.
An attached trailer containing an ATV was stolen, along with a number of items with high street value, said police, but not everything was taken.
“There were still some personal belongings inside,” said Acting Sgt. Pat Kelly of the Abbotsford Police Department.
“[The family] are understandably quite pleased that they are going to get some of their items back.”
There will be a delay as police check the truck for finger prints and clues, Kelly said.
The truck’s discovery means the Suiker family will soon be able to make the fresh start in B.C. that they’d dreamed of.
“You pack, you prepare, you try and protect everything for the move. And in one instant, it’s all gone,” Michael Suiker told CBC before the truck was recovered. “We’re talking priceless items that you can never replace.”
“The point of the move here was, in my opinion, to make our lives a little more enjoyable and a little bit better,” said Suiker’s daughter Meghan.
The Suikers were on the last leg of their journey when they stayed at a relative’s place in South Surrey for the night. When they woke up, the U-Haul truck and its attached trailer were gone.
The truck was loaded with their furniture, household items, and precious family mementos.
Suiker and his daughter appealed to the public on social media to keep watch for the U-Haul truck. Thousands of people shared their story.