Alaska-bound nurse loses 'whole life' when thieves steal U-Haul

Alaska-bound nurse loses 'whole life' when thieves steal U-Haul »Play Video

EVERETT, Wash -- A woman traveling cross-country from Illinois to Alaska became stranded in Washington on Thursday after someone stole her U-Haul from the parking lot of an Everett hotel.

"I at first thought 'Am I turned around? Am I in a different part of the parking lot?' Then I thought 'No, no, no this is right. This is right,' " said Kristen Shaulis. "Then, I just was like 'Oh, my gosh. It's gone.' "

Shaulis, who is moving to Alaska for a nursing job, planned to stay just one night at the Best Western Cascadia Inn, located at 2800 Pacific Avenue, but she discovered her U-Haul and mini van missing on Thursday morning.

"I was in a panic. I panicked because that's my whole life," said Shaulis. "My whole life was in that van - or in the U-Haul - everything was in there from my move."

The U-Haul was loaded with her most personal belongings - quilts, antiques, and sewing materials. The items were from her mother who died 13 years ago.

"I had some dishes that she collected when she was a little girl that I got passed down to me," said Shaulis.

Everett Police released surveillance video of the suspect vehicle pulling into the Best Western parking lot at 6:50 Thursday morning. The dark-colored Jeep Commander pulled up along the U-Haul then a person got out of the passenger side and opened the U-Haul door. The person then got into the U-Haul truck and drove off while the Jeep exited the other side of the parking lot.

The U-Haul is a 14-foot box truck with an Arizona license plate (AE 56627) and was towing a dolly trailer with a Virginia license plate (15567R). The trailer was carrying Shaulis's black 1999 Chrysler Town and Country van with an Illinois license plate (R679783).

"That information has been added into the police database so anytime an officer, anywhere, runs the license plate it will come back that the vehicle's been stolen," said Everett Police spokesman Ofc. Aaron Snell.

Meanwhile, Shaulis only has enough clothes for five days, one pair of shoes, a cell phone and her two dogs. When she left Illinois for Alaska on Sunday her biggest concern was the winter weather - not theft.

"I was so excited about this trip. I was so excited to start something new," said Shaulis. "My luck ran out, completely ran out and now I have to start all over."

Shaulis is staying another night in Everett. On Friday, she's getting a ride from the Red Cross to Bellingham to get a ferry to Alaska.

If you want to help Shaulis, you can donate through our Probelm Solvers fund