KATY – In an empty apartment in Katy, Steve Smith and his wife are still left cleaning up a mess.
“It just feels really violating,” Smith said.
The Saturday morning the Katy couple moved out of their Brea Luxury Apartments into their new home, things suddenly turned into a nightmare.
“We got up the next morning to finish loading and go back over to the house and my wife found out that the U-Haul wasn’t there anymore,” he said. “We realized it had been stolen.”
They called the police and then an upstairs neighbor came forward with surveillance video.
“She actually captured video of the thieves leaving in the parking lot with a timestamp,” he said.
In the video, you see two cars and then their U-Haul driving off with priceless items.
“There were old baby pictures, there were kids toys from when they were very little, old family photos,” Smith recalled. “Things that we just can’t get back.”
He says the U-Haul was locked and they had the keys to the truck.
“It’s an issue of safety and security for the community,” Smith said.
When they posted about the theft on social media, neighbors shared similar stories.
“The evening that our truck was stolen, I believe a gate was open,” Smith said. “So, I don’t know if that’s how they got in or if they just followed an actual tenant in.”
They want other families to be on alert.
“I think anybody out there who is in the process of moving or if you’re leaving anything in your car,” he said. “Just be aware.”
Harris County Sheriff’s Office located the stolen U-Haul truck on Monday.
Smith said the truck was hot-wired and most of their belongings were gone, but the thieves left behind a few boxes with photos, kids clothing, and mementos.
KPRC 2 reached out to Brea Luxury Apartments, but their office was closed for the Memorial Day holiday.