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Self-employed Seattle worker says truck and work equipment was stolen

Michael Peila's truck was stolen, with all his work equipment inside. (Photo courtesy of Michael Peila)

Listener Michael Peila, who started his own business five years ago as a window washer, had his truck stolen from his home in Capitol Hill earlier this week, with all his work equipment inside.

Due to COVID-19, Peila had already lost a lot of business over the past few months and wasn’t eligible for any of the payments from the government.

“The paperwork that they wanted, essentially, the way it was formed was if you had employees, they were willing to give you money to pay an employee,” he said. “… But if you’re someone like me who is getting the work day to day, door to door type of stuff, then they had no interest in paying out any money whatsoever.”

Peila says he parked his truck for the night and when he left to go work the next morning, it was gone.

“No glass on the road, no signs of a break and entering. Just gone,” Peila said.

He says he has no idea how anyone got in as he locked it, as he does every day, and locked the back of the canopy.

“It seems like it was professional,” he said. “I drive a manual truck so that definitely threw the police officer for a loop that a manual was stolen.”

“But all my work equipment and everything disappeared,” he added. “No sign of entry, nothing strewn about. I’ve had my truck broken into before and they opened up the back of the canopy and threw all of my equipment onto the sidewalk and took a leaf blower and some gas cans. That was a few months prior.”

He estimates the work equipment in the truck is probably worth $3,000-5,000.

“Everything I’ve worked for over my life, which isn’t much, but it’s what I had,” he said.

For now, he plans to work with his dad and start earning money to keep moving forward.

“Unfortunately, there’s not much else one can do in life except keep going,” Peila said.

If you spot Peila’s truck or want to contact him to help, email [email protected]

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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