Photo courtesy of GoFundMe page.
A Long Beach couple is left with virtually nothing after their packed U-Haul truck was stolen early Wednesday morning, about an hour before they were scheduled to embark on a journey to Oregon where they planned to start a new life, they said.
“Absolutely everything we own was stolen from out front our home,” said Jared Pettinato on a GoFundMe page he created to help offset the loss.
“We are completely devastated and feel so so defeated and violated,” his girlfriend Alicia Shabra stated.
Pettinato and Shabra planned to drive to their new home in Portland, Oregon at 5:00AM on Wednesday, December 7, Pettinato said on a GoFundMe page he created. However, at about 4:15AM their roommate was awakened by the theft in progress, but it was too late, Pettinato said.
The thieves not only stole the couple’s rented U-Haul truck, but also Pettinato’s car, a Honda Civic Hybrid in tow, and all the contents inside, which they estimated was worth over $60,000. Their belongings included computers, televisions, furniture, collectibles, jewelry and more.
“Everything I’ve ever worked for in my entire life is gone,” Pettinato stated. “My only worldly possessions are my backpack with one of my computers [...] which I slept next to.”
To top it off, unbeknownst to the couple, their U-Haul insurance did not cover the theft of contents.
Authorities said they received a report of a stolen U-Haul truck, with an attached trailer carrying a 2006 Honda Civic, on the 300 block of Flint Avenue, near Alamitos Heights, at 4:30AM on December 6.
The U-Haul was found empty on the 4800 block of Boyar Avenue in Bixby Knolls and the Honda Civic was found in an alley on the 800 block of Stanley Avenue in the city's Eastside, according to Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) spokesman Sgt. Brad Johnson. Both vehicles were recovered later in the day.
There are no further details on the motive or suspects responsible, Johnson said.
Pettinato said the couple still plans to make their way to Portland, even without a change of clothes, shoes, underwear or socks.
“We are literally in one of the worst situations of our lives and have lost so many irreplaceable items from traveling the world for my entire adult life,” Pettinato went on to say. “Unfortunately, now we are left to reacquire everything we’ve ever had throughout life, including all of the basic essentials.”
Pettinato stated that any amount to help them get back on their feet was appreciated and warned others to be wary of similar incidents.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call Auto Theft Detectives at (562) 570-7362.
NOTE: This story was updated on 12/14/16 with information on the theft from authorities.