July 14, 2009 in City

Family hopes for miracle in U-Haul heist

By The Spokesman-Review
Have you seen this U-Haul? A 2007 Ford Econoline E-450 with Arizona license plates AD21523, white and orange with graphics of a sandhill crane on the sides. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

A family that lost everything when a moving truck was stolen from a Spokane Valley motel parking lot will stay in the area at least another day as support pours in from around the Inland Northwest.

Sheri and Donnie Spivey and their two children, Hunter, 10, and Mallory, 8, will stay at a vacation home in Post Falls tonight after the owner heard about their plight.

The couple is moving back to Clermont, Florida, after four years in Kamloops, B.C, where they started two Baptist churches.

Donnie Spivey is a pastor and has a job lined up at a Florida church.

They arrived in Spokane for the first time Saturday and found their rented 17-foot U-Haul truck missing from the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express on Mission Avenue Sunday morning about 9:30 a.m. A witness saw it in the lot about 8:30 a.m., police said.

The doors were locked. Police suspect it was hot wired.

Donnie Spivey, 34, lost everything he owned in a fire when he was in second grade.

Two baby pictures he’d gotten from relatives after the fire were in the stolen truck.

“It’s like having a fire without any flames or smoke,” Sheri Spivey said.

The family has heard from lots of people since news of the theft broke Monday. One person dropped by the motel to buy them dinner last night.

“The people of Spokane have been wonderful. It’s unfortunate that a small group of people are going to prey on other people,” Sheri Spivey said.

The truck was filled with all their possessions, but mostly sentimental items, not the electronics thieves usually are after.

The Spiveys said a broker told them their insurance would cover the move, but the insurance company now says the policy won’t cover it.

The family had planned to transfer everything in the truck to a moving pod in Spokane and pay for it to be sent to Florida.

They considered doing that in Canada but decided to save several thousand dollars by hauling the stuff across the international border.

Volunteers from a local church were going to help them with the move.

Tips have been pouring in from motorists who think they spot the stolen truck.

The Spiveys will head to Post Falls tonight and try to stay optimistic.

“We wanted to stay in the area just one more day to see if there’s any progress,” Sheri Spivey said.

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