MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (FOX 9) - A U-Haul truck, stolen last week from a family moving from Minnesota to Texas, has been found.
Overnight, during Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher's "Live on Patrol" YouTube stream, a viewer shared a tip about a U-Haul that had been running for a couple of days at Maplewood apartment complex. The truck had since run out of gas.
Investigators confirmed the license place matches the U-Haul they had been looking for all week.
"That is amazing," Fletcher said on the livestream. "God, I hope there’s some stuff left in it."
The sheriff is told there is a "decent amount" of belongings still in the back of the truck.
‘I couldn’t believe it'
Meagan Martinez talked on the phone with FOX 9 from Austin, Texas – where her family just closed on a new home that will soon be filled with many of the things that they thought they had lost forever.
"If there was any Christmas present I could have for me and my kids, it’s finding that truck," Martinez said. "I was just kind of in shock. I couldn’t believe it."
On Friday night, she got a call from a friend who’d been watching Fletcher’s Live on Patrol stream.
"I couldn’t believe it – I just was – I wasn’t expecting it," Martinez said.
She got in touch with police and confirmed this was her family’s stolen trailer.
"It looks like they ransacked it. There’s ripped up cardboard everywhere, so I have no idea what the state of anything is in the truck, but it looked like it was still pretty full."
Even with some of her things gone, she’s looking forward to being reunited with what’s left. Getting one last dose of Minnesota Nice before starting her new life down south.
"It was unbelievable, and I’m so thankful for the community and for getting involved and sharing and you now, really finding this for us," Martinez said.
The trailer is now in safe hands for a few more days – until family can drive it back down and can be reunited with their things.
‘Irreplaceable' items in stolen U-Haul
The West St. Paul family, who didn't want to be identified by their full name, was moving to Texas starting Wednesday, Dec. 15. They rented a 26-foot box truck U-Haul and filled it with items from their home.
"Everything’s gone that you’ve accumulated throughout your life," Jason. told FOX 9. "Family history, Christmas stuff, heirlooms from dead family members and just gone."
The truck was parked in front of their house, but when they got up Tuesday morning, Dec. 14, it wasn't here. The theft left them shattered.
"Because it's stuff that's irreplaceable," said Lily, Jason's daughter. "No amount of money in the world can replace that stuff for us."
Sheriff part of high-speed chase
Just a few minutes after the U-Haul recovery was captured on his stream, Sheriff Fletcher was also part of a high-speed chase. Ramsey County confirmed St. Paul police tried to pull over a truck near Maryland and Johnson when the driver took off.
Ramsey County deputies pursued the truck for about 10 minutes, reaching speeds about 80 mph on I-94. After deploying stop sticks, and the truck blowing two tires, the driver crashed near Como Lake Boulevard.
The female driver was arrested. The male passenger took off on foot and hasn't been found.