Suspected moving-truck thief nabbed in Renton

SEATTLE -- Seattle police believe they've nabbed a serial thief who's stolen at least four moving vans and trucks since the first of the year.

A Seattle Police Department SWAT team arrested the 43-year-old suspect early Wednesday morning inside a red barn on the outskirts of Renton.

Detectives first learned of the man when a tipster came forward after buying what was later found to be stolen computer equipment, according to police.

Police believe the suspect stole at least four vans and U-Haul trucks, beginning with a New Year's Eve theft in Seattle. In that case, a couple had just moved to Seattle and parked their van in front of their new apartment at 9th and Dexter.

When they woke up on New Year's Day, the van was gone. It was later found empty and abandoned in Maple Valley.

The next case came in March in downtown Seattle when newlyweds Jason Jones and Ambrose Romero were preparing to move to California.

They packed up their belongings in a moving truck and parked it outside of their apartment on 6th and Olive. The next morning the truck was gone. It was later found abandoned in Renton.

"My heart broke, you don't know what to do," Jones said after the theft. "First thing, panic and think maybe it got towed or something or police took it. Called them, they didn't have it. This panic just sets in like somebody stole our lives."

Just a month later, on April 28, police believe the same man swiped another moving truck -- as well as an attached Acura sedan -- from a Vancouver parking lot. Once again, police found the empty truck in Renton.

The last theft took place earlier this month when a U-Haul truck full of sports memorabilia was stolen in Renton. The truck contained auction items meant to help disadvantaged kids. It was stolen following a gala and auction hosted by former Seattle Seahawk Marcus Trufant and his Trufant Family Foundation.

The empty truck was later found in Maple Valley.

Constance Trufant, who helps run the foundation, was invited to the barn to claim property stolen from the foundation.

"It's not all of it but it's some and so I'm encouraged that we have it back," she said.

Police have not released the suspect's name and say the investigation is ongoing.