BENNETT, Colo. — A military family made their way from Virginia to Colorado and didn't even have a chance to move in before thieves stole their moving truck with all of their belongings inside.
Evan Salas, his wife Stacey and their three little girls were excited when he received orders that would bring their family to Colorado. Salas is in the Air Force, and he's starting a new job at Buckley Air Force Base.
"So, we moved from Virginia, moved across the country. We packed up our stuff into a 26-foot Penske moving truck," Salas said.
He and his family were exhausted after the four-day drive. They pulled into the parking lot of a hotel near the Denver International Airport just before midnight. The next morning, they would drive to their new home and unpack.
When Salas woke up in the morning, he looked outside and saw the truck was missing.
"I was hoping, hoping that maybe it had just been towed, but that, unfortunately, was not the case," Salas said. "Somebody came in the middle of the night with the intention, specifically, of stealing, and they stole from us everything."
The truck had all their belongings inside, including furniture, clothes and outdoor gear they bought for their adventures in Colorado. There were also boxes full of family heirlooms, photos and their collection of Christmas ornaments.
"Stuff from my career, stuff that I have worked hard to achieve and earn. Military coin collection is gone. We’ve lost family silverware, all of our Christmas ornaments — everything we’ve put together over time. Memories, lots of memories," Salas said.
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Although he would like to recover all of their belongings, he hopes they can find some of those precious items that can't be replaced.
"We’re hoping that maybe someone in the community will see the truck, maybe find an abandoned Penske truck," Salas said.
In the meantime, other military families and complete strangers in their new neighborhood have stepped up to donate what they can. Denver7 Gives has also established an account, and donations can be made through Denver7 Gives by selecting "Help the Salas Family" in the dropdown menu. All of the funds will go toward helping this family rebuild what a cruel thief took away.
"We’re looking to get new furniture and the small stuff that makes a home a home," Salas said.
This story was originally published by Liz Gelardi at KMGH.