A Capitol Hill couple moving to California were originally making the trip with a 24-foot moving van packed to the gills with possessions they'd collected from 7 years living together in Seattle. But after the truck was stolen and found empty, the move will be a little different.
"We never thought it would be such a fresh start for us," says Ambrose Romero, taking an optimistic view on a difficult situation. "We look at it as rebuilding."
The moving van they'd loaded with everything they own was stolen from out front of their Capitol Hill condo on March 16. Ambrose tells KIRO Radio's Jason Rantz that after a long day of packing they'd decided it would be too much to drive the 13 hours to California, so decided they would lock up the truck for the night and take off first thing in the morning.
Ambrose says they never really thought the van would be at risk of being stolen. Even when they first found it gone, Ambrose says it didn't really set in what had happened.
"We thought it was towed," says Ambrose. "I started calling a couple tow agencies then it really hit me, I finally had that 'ah hah' moment, 'OK what if it's stolen?'"
They called the police and the department confirmed their worst fears. No tow companies had reported the van being towed, odds were it was stolen.
By Monday morning, police located the truck.
"When we got the call that the truck was found, we didn't know at the time whether or not anything was in there. We were just hoping that there was something, some boxes, something of our past life in there," says Ambrose. "But when we opened it up and literally saw two blankets and a picture frame it hits you, it really does hit you in the stomach."
Ambrose says it was like a punch in the gut, all their possessions were gone. They haven't fully calculated the value of what they've lost, but Ambrose says it goes beyond the numbers.
"It's hard to put a number on it all," says Ambrose. "It's definitely more or less we see it as our life's gone as opposed to a number or a dollar sign."
Beyond personal items like photos and mementos, all their furniture as well as a collectible collection valued around $15,000 were lost. Ambrose says they continue to wait for news hopefully as to where their possessions might be, but the leads seem to be dropping off. The theft though won't deter their plans, he says.
"We leave in a week," says Ambrose, emphasizing the most important things remain. "It doesn't change anything. I have my husband. We have our dog Boey. That's all that matters. All our possessions may be gone, but we have each other."
Friends and family though would like to them to have a little more, so they're holding a fundraiser for the couple from 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at The Kitchen by Delicatus March 26. Find more event info.