KTTH OPINION

Rantz: Tacoma business owner has box truck stolen twice in under three days

May 9, 2024, 5:55 PM | Updated: May 10, 2024, 7:26 am

Tacoma theft...

(Photo obtained by The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH)

(Photo obtained by The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH)

Thieves allegedly stole a Tacoma business owner’s box truck filled with his expensive tools and equipment. Police found the truck, though not the tools, after the theft. But the case isn’t over: The box truck was stolen again, just under three days later.

Ron Baker is a recovering alcoholic and addict. After going through recovery, he became clean and sober, deciding to start his life over with a gutter company and purpose. Work has been steady and he was starting to feel stability in his life. That made the theft of his box truck and thousands of dollars worth of tools and equipment last Friday, May 3, all the more painful.

“It’s been a rough road, but we’re just taking it one day at a time, waiting for the investigation,” Baker told “The Jason Rantz Show” on KTTH.

Was a suspect caught in the stolen box truck case?

Baker was relieved that the truck was recovered by police in Roy on May 6. The tools were taken, but some equipment survived the Tacoma theft.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office confirmed one suspect, Matthew Paul Snider, was arrested while sleeping in the truck. A resident saw the stolen box truck on her private property and called 911 to report it.

Snider “denied knowledge that the vehicle was stolen, despite the steering column and ignition being destroyed with exposed and stripped wiring hanging down,” according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office incident report. He was found with brass knuckles and a fixed-blade knife, according to the report.

After booking, he pleaded not guilty to an unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle charge. Snider was released by Judge Barbara McInvaille on his own personal recognizance. His next hearing is on June 4.

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What happened after police found the Tacoma theft victim’s truck?

Baker went to retrieve the box truck, but he said it was too tall for the tow truck. He was able to get it to a nearby gas station where he left it overnight, in full view of a surveillance camera that he assumed would be the protection he needed. It wasn’t.

“It was stolen again by the same group, for whatever reasons, and now we’re back to square one,” he explained, citing surveillance footage that made identifying the suspects easier. The Roy Police Department are now handling the case.

“It’s almost like waking up out of a bad dream, right? Stolen twice in three-and-a-half days,” he said.

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A tough road ahead

While he’s trying to maintain high spirits — hoping a GoFundMe campaign will help — it’s hard to not realize the bind this allegedly theft puts him in.

“Being in recovery and starting over in the first place, here’s the deal: I’m month to month. I rent. I don’t have a credit card limit of $10,000 – $20,000, I don’t. My credit … I’m building it, it’s getting better. But me and my girl, our circumstances are not great.”

One thing that’s helping him cope with this setback? His experiences getting sober.

“With my coping today, thanks to the program and my life today — my other half is more angry and upset than I am. People want to go do this and that and it’s just not me today. (Getting angry) doesn’t get us anywhere. I know that G*d knows my heart, things will be OK. It’s another day. Getting mad and angry is just not going to solve anything.”

Baker said he hopes to rebuild his business with a new name, Grit City Gutters. He also says the community support since his story has spread has been inspiring. As of Thursday, his GoFundMe raised just shy of $5,000.

“A lady called and pitched in five bucks. She’s a single mom of three kids. I’m going to start crying right now, but it’s that little gesture right there to make you make you a human, you know?”

Photos of the damage to the box truck. (Photos obtained by The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH)

Listen to The Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-7 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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