SALT LAKE CITY, Ut. (WRIC) — A Midlothian family on a cross-country road trip is stuck in Utah after losing everything when their truck was stolen in Salt Lake City this week.
It was supposed to be a three-week-long journey of a lifetime that the Phillips-Wood family had planned for more than a year, and was an extended field trip their homeschooled son. However, their dream road trip turned into a nightmare on Wednesday.
“Everything seemed to be going along perfectly,” Kristy Phillips told 8News Friday.
She, her husband and their son left Midlothian headed West in their Ford F-250 on Sept. 20. They observed breathtaking views along their long-anticipated cross-country trip. On the morning of Sept. 27, Salt Lake City, Utah took their breath away — in the worst way.
The family woke up in a hotel and their truck was missing from the parking lot.
“I walked around the corner of the hotel and my husband’s like ‘Where’s the truck?'” Phillips said.
On Oct. 1, Salt Lake City police told 8News unreleased surveillance video shows a black minivan pulling up to the locked truck at 8 a.m. Wednesday. The video shows someone getting inside it without issue. Phillips added that the video showed seemingly clueless witnesses who walked by.
“It only took them four minutes to drive away in our vehicle,” she said.
Phillips said there were thousands of dollars worth of camping gear, expensive binoculars, clothing in the truck — along with her DSLR professional cameras, that she normally takes inside but hadn’t the night before.
Friday morning, police found the truck on the side of a road about 15 minutes from where it was stolen. Police said there was damage to the inside of it and all their valuables were gone.
8News asked Phillips if she had anything she wanted to say to whoever stole her belongings.
“They put a lot of effort into being a thief. Put that effort into living an honest life,” Phillips said. “Just get a job. Why make theft your job?”
The family is in limbo at this point, trying to figure out how to get their damaged truck back to Midlothian. Philips said that will be another huge, expensive hurdle and insurance will only cover about $250 worth of their valuables taken.
While the Phillips family is out thousands of dollars and all of their stuff, Phillips said she’s extremely upset that her son’s stuffed animal that he’s carried everywhere for years was missing as well.
A friend has started a gofundme for the family. It had already raised close to $2,000 as of Friday afternoon.