July 15, 2009 in City

Family waits for word on stolen moving truck

Canada-to-Florida move disrupted by thieves
Meghann M. Cuniff meghannc@spokesman.com, (509) 459-5534
 

How to help

The U-Haul truck reported stolen is a 2007 Ford Econoline E-450 with Arizona license plates AD21523. The truck is white and orange and has graphics of a sandhill crane on the sides.

Anyone with information about the truck or theft can call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

A family that lost nearly everything when their rented moving truck was stolen from a Spokane Valley motel parking lot stayed an extra day as police continued searching for their belongings and support poured in from across the Inland Northwest.

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

The family then intends to resume its return trip 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 on Saturday and woke up Sunday to find their rented 17-foot U-Haul truck missing from the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express on Mission Avenue. The doors were locked. Police suspect it was hot-wired.

For Donnie Spivey, 34, the theft has resurrected difficult childhood memories. He lost everything he owned in a fire when he was in second grade. Two baby pictures he’d received 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 Monday 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 most of their possessions – mostly sentimental items, not electronics thieves usually are after.

The Spiveys said their insurance company says their policy won’t cover the loss.

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 border, Sheri Spivey said. Volunteers from a local church were going to help them with the move.

Tips have been pouring in to police from motorists who think they have seen the stolen truck.

The Spiveys headed to Post Falls on Tuesday and tried 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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