Not much left after U-Haul theft

Public steps up to help U.S. military family who were staying overnight in Abbotsford

This is what remained in a U-Haul recently stolen from a U.S. military family staying overnight in Abbotsford. The truck has been packed from floor to ceiling.

The U.S. military family whose U-Haul truck was stolen while they were staying overnight at an Abbotsford hotel has since found out that the thieves left almost nothing behind.

But thanks to the support of people who heard about their plight, many of the items will be replaced.

Anna Spencer and her five children had stopped in Abbotsford on the evening of Aug. 16 while en route from Georgia to their new residence in Fairbanks, Alaska.

They were travelling to join husband and dad Ronald, an army man who had been stationed in Alaska and had been living there since May.

Leaving the four-bedroom Georgia home where they had resided for seven years, the family loaded everything they owned into a 26-foot GMC U-Haul truck.

This included all their furniture and other essentials, but also some irreplaceable items, such as several boxes of family photos; keepsakes that had belonged to Anna’s dad, who died 15 years ago; and military gear (no weapons) that Ronald had saved over his 15 years in the service.

Sometime during the family’s overnight stay, thieves drove into the parking lot of the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre on North Parallel Road and made off with the U-Haul.

The abandoned truck was discovered the next morning in Surrey, but it took a few days before the family was able to see the truck for themselves.

Left in the vehicle, which had previously been packed from floor to ceiling, were just a few items, such as a mattress and some shelving units. Everything else was gone, including the irreplaceable keepsakes.

Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said in the days after the theft was reported in the media, a “huge and borderline overwhelming response” from the public resulted in many offers of cash and items.

“A lot of people stepped up to try to make this right,” he said.

MacDonald said Anna has repeatedly expressed how grateful and overwhelmed the family is for the support following such a difficult situation.

Anna and her kids – ranging in age from 10 to 27 – were back on the road this week and should be now be in Alaska, MacDonald said.

No arrests have yet been made.

Anyone still wishing to help the family is asked to email imacdonald@abbypd.ca for details on how to do so.

(Photo below: Anna Spencer talks with Abbotsford Police Const. Ian McDonald the day after the theft occurred.)

Just Posted

Abbotsford Community Services announces name change

50-year-old non-profit agency now called Archway Community Services

Vancouver Canucks playing pre-season game in Abbotsford

Canucks hosting Ottawa Senators on Monday, Sept. 23

Abbotsford water polo talent earns national gold

16U athletes Sarah Portas and Annika Reinfjell help lead Fraser Valley to first

Harrison Hot Springs to consider single-use plastics ban

Village staff will come back to council with a report on what a possible ban could look like

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Most Read