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One charged after moving family's stolen belongings recovered

Michael Suiker and his daughter Meghan had been moving to Victoria when their U-Haul and utility trailer were stolen.
Michael Suiker speaks at a press conference about the recovery of some of his and his daughter's stolen possessions while Abbotsford Police Const. Paul Walker looks on.

A family whose possessions were stolen in the midst of their move to Vancouver Island got some good news this week, nearly a month after their empty U-Haul truck was found in Abbotsford.

On Dec. 29, Michael Suiker and his daughter Meghan had stopped to visit family in South Surrey during the pair’s move from Saskatoon to Victoria.

The next morning, the 34-foot U-Haul truck and 18-foot-trailer Michael and Meghan had pulled across Western Canada was gone, along with the furniture, mementos, household items and other possessions the truck and trailer contained.

The truck was recovered a couple days later in Abbotsford, but all its contents were emptied and the trailer was still missing.

“It’s her whole life and my whole life, too,” Michael said at a press conference in early January in Abbotsford.

Three weeks later, Suiker returned to Abbotsford Thursday for a much happier meeting with local police.

Last Friday, on Jan. 22, police searched a home in rural East Abbotsford, where they found some of the Suikers’ property. Four days later, they searched another home in the area and found even more of the stolen goods.

Together, police say they recovered “a large amount of the family’s property,” including their utility trailer.

Suivert said it was “a great feeling” to hear that police had found many of his belongings. But he noted that many items were not recovered, including keepsakes and sports medals his daughter had won.

One man has been charged. Joseph Lavallee of Abbotsford has been charged with possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance, and driving while prohibited. They have also recommended charges of possession of stolen property against two other Abbotsford men aged 43 and 48.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact police at 604-859-5225, or text 222973 (abbypd).

- with files from Vikki Hopes