DENVER — Less than an hour after Colorado news outlets shared the story of a military family who had a moving truck full of their belongings stolen, an observant viewer spotted the truck and called the police.
The Salas family had just made a four-day move from Virginia to Colorado. Evan Salas received orders for a new job at Buckley Air Force Base, but the family stopped at a hotel near the Denver International Airport to spend the night before making their way down to Colorado Springs.
The family woke up to find the 26-foot Penske truck gone.
"I was hoping, hoping that maybe it had just been towed, but that, unfortunately, was not the case," Salas previously told KMGH. "Somebody came in the middle of the night with the intention, specifically, of stealing, and they stole from us everything."
The truck had all their belongings inside, including furniture, clothes, and outdoor gear they bought for their adventures in Colorado. There were also boxes full of family heirlooms, photos, and their collection of Christmas ornaments.
Friends, family, and new neighbors immediately started stepping in to help, and KMGH started a fund to help the Salases get back on their feet.
“These last 24 hours have felt like days,” Salas said. “It’s been packed with people trying to help us. Friends reaching out, family reaching out, tons of people offering their support and helping us get back onto our feet.”
But thanks to that observant viewer, they got their truck back. Although at least half of their belongings were missing, personal items like picture frames, a hard drive full of digital photos, and their kids’ toys all remained.
“We’ve gone on this extreme roller coaster of lows and highs. Loss of faith in humanity to a few hours later, understanding that humanity is the greatest thing ever,” Salas said.
It’s a restoration in humanity Salas said wouldn’t have been restored if their story wasn’t shared.
“Your story was the cause of this happening. Shortly after it aired, I think it was about 30, 45 minutes after it aired, we were getting a phone call letting us know that they’ve located the truck because people had called in to ask what was going on with this, and it ended up pressuring the right people to get a move on it,” Salas said.
This story originally reported by Blayke Roznowski on TheDenverChannel.com.