ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Could you ever imagine everything you own taken in a matter of seconds? It’s not something anyone wants to wake up to. “I immediately realized the truck was gone, immediately like the panic set in. I didn’t know what to think,” Elmer Lopez said.
Lopez and his wife Cobos stopped in Albuquerque for the night on their long road trip from Kansas to Arizona. “His eyes were red, and he just had like a shocked face on, and he’s like, ‘the U-Haul’s gone, someone stole it,'” Kelsey Cobos said.
It was supposed to be the beginning of their new journey. After six years in the Army, Lopez decided to start a new career back in his hometown. What was supposed to be a much-needed break from the road, turned into a major headache. Saturday morning, the locked truck was stolen from the Days Inn and Suites by the Albuquerque International Sunport.
Video from the hotel shows someone hiding and eventually taking off with the 26-foot truck. “It was just that sudden shock, you know, like getting hit by a truck,” Lopez said.
Their entire lives inside that U-Haul are now gone, including years’ worth of military memorabilia that can never be replaced such as gear, awards, plaques, and challenge coins. “The only thing I could ever show our kids, as far as me being in the military, is a hat that was in my car and pictures,” Lopez said.
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Reeling from the $20,000 loss, the couple left Albuquerque that morning in their second vehicle, with just the clothes on their backs. While they’re trying to stay hopeful, they understand it’s unlikely they’ll ever see their stuff again. “Every five minutes we remember something else that we know that we’re probably no longer going to ever have,” Lopez said.
APD said they’re actively investigating the theft. If you recognize the U-Haul or plate number: AJO8906, you’re encouraged to call the police.