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Minneapolis journalist left with nothing after someone steals moving truck and trailer hauling car

Posted at 7:30 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 18:59:13-05

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A Minneapolis journalist driving across the country to a new job in Florida is now without any of his belongings. Everything he owned was inside a moving truck with his car attached by a trailer and all of it was stolen as he slept overnight last week.

Aaron Adelson hit the road last Monday on a two-day journey to Gainesville to start his new position at the CBS affiliate.

“Here’s the U-Haul key that I still have. I don’t know what to do with it,” he said, as he held the keys in front of his camera over Zoom.

Those belong to the U-Haul truck he rented and drove nearly 1,200 miles to Macon, Georgia, to rest for the night. When he woke up at 6 a.m. the truck and trailer hauling his car were gone.

“I was in a daze,” Adelson said. “I’m like where is the U-Haul?”

Hotel staff called police and told Adelson what they saw on security cameras around 1 a.m.

All of a sudden the brake lights of the truck start flashing on and off and it’s driven away with my car and everything I own just out of this parking lot,” he said.

According to the Bibb County Sheriffs Office, the truck was found abandoned and emptied on the side of the road in Atlanta. Priceless items that Adelson says only hold value to him are now gone. He took a picture of what he had taken into his hotel room that night which wasn’t much.

“My grandma Bubbe, [she gave me] my Tallit from my bar mitzvah when I was 13. She’s no longer alive so even if I get a new Tallit it’s not from her,” he said.

The trailer associated with Adelson’s contract was turned in at a U-Haul store in Tampa, but they now believe there was a mix up and the trailer turned in wasn’t actually his.

U-Haul says they’re working closing with law enforcement to catch whoever took the truck and trailer.

Read the full statement from U-Haul:

As noted, we sympathize with any customer who is a victim of theft. U-Haul employs a robust investigations unit that works closely with law enforcement to see that individuals engaged in criminal activity involving U-Haul equipment are captured and brought to justice.

There are many steps customers can take to reduce the risk of equipment and property theft when moving with a U-Haul truck and/or trailer. These tips include:
** Always park in well-lit areas and within view of security cameras
** Do not leave keys in the truck where others can access them
** Lock doors to the truck cab and the place secure locks on the rear cargo doors of your truck and/or trailer
** Place secure locks on the chains connecting your personal vehicle or U-Haul truck to your trailer so the chains cannot be easily disconnected
** Back up your U-Haul truck or trailer to a garage, wall or other solid barrier so that possessions cannot be unloaded without the equipment being moved
** Avoid leaving your equipment parked and unattended in areas of town where crime is prevalent
** Avoid loading your possessions into the truck or trailer and leaving it parked and unattended at any time, particularly overnight, if this can be helped
** Avoid lending your equipment to other parties or providing keys to someone you do not know
** Follow precise instructions for equipment pick-up and return

Adelson says he locked and parked the truck under a light, in site of a security camera and had a padlock on the back.

And while Adelson did purchase insurance on the truck, “It protects you from the damage you might cause to the truck.” But, doesn’t cover what’s inside.

The Insurance Information Institute says folks who are moving should make sure they have homeowners or renters insurance which covers your things inside the home, in transit or at a storage facility.

Adelson also had renters insurance thanks to a rule at his new apartment. He still waiting to see what he will get from that.

"Standard homeowners [] and renters insurance policies[] provide coverage for a policyholder’s personal property while their belongings are at their residence, in transit, or housed at a storage facility.

Before moving, the Insurance Information Institute advises homeowners and renters to assess the following:

Do My Current Insurance Policies Cover the Move? Contact your insurance professional to make sure your current insurance policies offer the financial protection needed for your move and understand your other options. Also discuss if it is necessary for you to purchase additional coverage offered by the rental company if you self-move (see the section below with details).

What Types of Additional Insurance Coverages Are Available for a Move? Trip Transit Insurance covers your personal property for perils including theft, disappearance or fire while the property is either in transit or storage. This type of insurance covers neither property breakage nor flood-caused damage. Special Perils Contents Coverage will cover breakage for all but the most fragile items. A floater or endorsement will fully protect valuables such as jewelry, collectibles and fine art. Moreover, if your personal property is going to be kept at a self-storage facility [], you may want to explore purchasing separate Storage Coverage.

What Coverages Are Available Through Moving Companies? Full Value Protection is a warranty plan under which your mover is liable for the replacement value of the personal property being moved. If any personal property is lost, destroyed or damaged while in the mover's custody, the mover under the terms of the warranty will either repair or replace the item, or make a cash settlement for the cost of the repairs at the personal property’s current market value. Released Value Protection provides minimal coverage if your mover either loses or damages your personal property but Separate Liability Coverage may be offered by your mover to supplement released value protection. Movers should provide to the personal property’s owner written documentation of whatever coverage is purchased through them.

Should I Purchase Additional Insurance if I Self-Move?

For self-moves, rental companies such as UHaul offer a variety of additional levels of protection. This includes:

  • Supplemental Liability Coverage – safeguards your personal insurance policy for the first $1 million of losses
  • Cargo Protection – covers loss or damage to cargo resulting from collision, fire, windstorm and overturn of the rental truck
  • Damage Waiver – covers most accident damage to rental equipment
  • Medical/Life Protection – Provides protection for you and your passengers in cab of rental truck"