Deputies find Chicago couple's stolen moving truck; 3 suspects arrested

The King County Sheriff's Office investigates after a stolen moving truck was found. (Photo: KOMO News)

RENTON, Wash. - Three suspects are under arrest after King County sheriff's deputies located a moving truck that had been stolen from a couple who just moved to the Seattle area.

The stolen yellow Penske truck was found overnight at a house in the 19400 block of SE 170th Street near the Maple Valley area after investigators received a tip from a caller, the King County Sheriff's Office said.

The moving truck was filled with most of the belongings of a Chicago couple, Lee and Britt Emerick, who just moved to the Seattle area. The truck was stolen from a parking lot 11 miles away on East Valley Road right off State Route 167. The lot is next to a hotel where the couple stayed Monday night after spending several days on the road.

"What happened to you in your life that you have no reservations about just totally taking off with someone’s whole life like this, you know? And for what reason?" said Lee Emerick.

The truck was nearly empty when deputies arrived at the property Wednesday morning and found 3 people unloading the couple’s things into a detached garage and a jeep parked nearby.

All 3 suspects are now in custody. They'll likely face a variety of charges, deputies said.

"They obviously knew what they were doing," said Sgt. Ryan Abbott, King County Sheriff's Office. "They were trying to offload it as quickly as possible."

After a thorough search Wednesday, it appears most of the couple's belongings were still in tact. But several items, including a couple of guns, were gone by the time deputies arrived. Britt Emerick inherited the guns from her father, she told KOMO News earlier in the week.

"It looks to me that this isn’t the first time that they’ve done something like this, you know?" Lee Emerick said Wednesday.

The outpouring of support the couple has received from the community since the moving truck was stolen has helped ease what’s been a frustrating situation, they said.

Now they can focus on beginning their new life in their new home.

"Relieved that we’re gonna at least get some of the stuff back. But still a lot of work left to do," Lee Emerick said.

Surveillance video captured from the hotel where the moving truck was stolen early Tuesday morning showed a SUV pull up next to the truck at around 2:30 a.m., the couple said. The SUV and the truck leave about 15-20 minutes later, they said.

The couple contacted Renton police, who asked for help from the public in locating the stolen truck.

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