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'This wasn't the way to get started': Thieves steal moving truck from couple relocating to Portland

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said the fully-loaded U-Haul moving truck and trailer was stolen from outside a Troutdale hotel late Wednesday night.

TROUTDALE, Ore. — Multnomah County deputies ask the public to be on the lookout after thieves stole a loaded moving truck and trailer in Troutdale from a couple relocating to Portland from Flagstaff, Arizona. 

Jennifer Beltz and her partner Jeff Strang decided to stay at the Comfort Inn off of Northwest Graham Road on Wednesday night after three days of driving. Beltz recently sold her Arizona home and packed up all her belongings to move into her partner's newly renovated house in Southeast Portland. 

"We got here last night thinking, here we are, we are almost to Portland. We are close enough. This is where we want to be, we don't want mess with city traffic and all that. We will get up in the morning and will be able to take the truck over to the house and start unloading our stuff," Beltz explained. 

Those plans were put on pause after she noticed the truck and trailer had vanished when she woke up to check around 1 a.m. Thursday. 

"We couldn't really believe it," she recalled. "Are we groggy, are we dreaming? And then it really sunk in."

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said security camera footage from the hotel showed two people pull into the parking lot in a silver SUV around 11 p.m. on Wednesday. Officers explained one person broke into the truck, started it up and drove off. The second suspect followed in the SUV. 

Beltz said nearly everything she owned was inside the truck and trailer: furniture, clothes, valuables, sporting equipment and sentimental items, such as family photos, personal artwork and a handmade wool-braided rug, among many other items.

She also watched the security video. 

"They were masked. It was dark outside. But it was like normal, they didn’t seem to be lurking around or anything. They just did it like it was easy," she said, "We know that Portland is full of wonderful people, but this really wasn’t the way to get started."

The truck is described as a U-Haul brand, 20-foot truck, with a unique image of a hawk and a map of the Tongass National Forest with the title, Alaska, printed on the side. The trailer is standard in size, 6 feet by 12 feet, with orange and black graphics. 

The truck has Arizona license plate AJ29091, and the trailer has Indiana license plate TR-916KMS, according to deputies.

Anyone who has information about this crime, may have witnessed the theft or locates the stolen truck and/or trailer is urged to call the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333, and refer to Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office report number: 22-8219. If the truck is occupied, call 911.

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