Thieves steal Seattle couple's UHaul on day of big move

SEATTLE -- For more than a combined three decades, Seattle was home for Rafael and Rita Irisarri.

On Monday morning, what was inside that home vanished; the apparent work of two men who took about three minutes to make it happen.

"Basically, we packed the whole house for the thief. You make it much easier when you do that," Rafael said. "We did everything right. We put a padlock on the vehicle. Had I known (this could happen), I would've put a boot on the vehicle."

The Irisarris put the UHaul truck filled with their belongings in front of theIr house on Boyer Avenue East, after spending three days filling it with everything they own. The couple finished packing around 1 a.m. on Memorial Day; when they woke up after sunrise, they noticed the truck was gone.

The pair was scheduled to drive to their new home near New York City that day, they said. A neighbor across the street captured the theft on surveillance video.

"We just didn't think anybody would drive off in a car full of stuff," said Rita. "It's hard. You can't place a value on it. it's just hard."

Making matters worse, Rafael is a musician and the truck contained an entire studio's worth of equipment: instruments, original recordings, and hard drives filled with work. Rita is a clothing designer, and her sewing machines and samples were all packed inside the UHaul.

"On top of moving to a different city and leaving all the stuff that you know behind, now we have nothing," Rafael said. "All of our mementos are gone. Everything that we hold dear that we've been carrying for all of our lives is gone."

Investigators are now looking for the 17-foot long UHaul truck with Arizona license plate number AD29272, but the Irisarris left Seattle Tuesday without it. Rafael posted a detailed list of what's missing on his blog.

"This is my livelihood. This is all I do for a living - music - so now I have absolutely nothing to work with," he said. "No way to play live, no way to record."

"It's really devastating," he added, "but it could've been much worse."