A trip from San Diego to Portland is turning into a nightmare for a man looking to start a new life.
He was driving a U-Haul truck, with everything he owned when he parked in Oakland to rest up at a friend’s house and he woke up to find everything gone.
“So, I’m moving from San Diego to Portland, this was my overnight pit stop,” said Tony.
That pit stop in Oakland turned into a horrible experience for him.
It was supposed to be a new beginning for the high-end bicycle designer.
He packed up everything he owned in this U-Haul van and said it’s ending up like a bad dream.
“Anything from my pants to my trash can, computer to my bed frame. Visualize any room in your house and whatever is in it, is gone,” said Tony.
His entire life was inside the U-Haul, which included family heirlooms from Germany. Also stolen, his vintage Volkswagen that was in tow.
That was Saturday morning and after reporting the theft to police, he then took to social media for help.
“Volkswagon groups, other areas of the internet that are here to help. It was shared, multiplied quickly and slowly I started getting information saying ‘hey you should go look here some of the crime hot spots where stolen things are taken,’” said Tony.
That information took Tony to the Wood Street underpass Monday morning. A place where the unhoused live and fires have broken out in the past.
Tony found his van there and called police.
“They realized there was somebody inside it. They called in reinforcements and several squad cars and about a two hour stand off,” said Tony.
He recorded a video of police pulling a squatter out of his stolen van.
It was ransacked and all his belongings were gone.
The U-Haul truck with an Arizona license plate and a distinctive bird on the side of it, is still missing.
Also gone are couple of very expensive, handmade bicycles, each worth up to $17,000.
“Everyone is saying ‘I’m really sorry this happened, this is not Oakland, this is not Berkeley this is not what we want,’” said Tony.
He feels a lot of gratitude for all the help from total strangers.
All he wants now are his belongs back.
Source: NBC Bay Area