Combat veteran loses military medals after U-Haul truck is stolen

SEATTLE — Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a brazen thief who preyed on a military combat veteran and his wife.

Miles and Mary McQuilkin stayed in western Washington as they moved from California to Alaska.

On the morning of Aug. 18, they woke up to find that their entire moving van was gone.

“It was just utter shock that we’ve lost everything. Everything was packaged up so nice, everything we own,” Miles told KIRO 7.

The McQuilkins found their stolen U-Haul truck two days later. It had been abandoned at a Tukwila apartment complex.

In the process, they discovered that half their belongings were stolen, including Miles’ military medals and even his uniform.

“We’ll jump on a plane from Anchorage if (some of the stolen items) are found, our family heirlooms and things like that,” Miles said.

Things of no value to the thief were also stolen, including love letters and half of the McQuilkins’ bed.

“We were able to get a few of the photos, but not much,” Mary said.

The McQuilkins told KIRO 7 they did everything right.

Staying overnight at the Federal Way Marriot, they said they double-locked their U-Haul and parked it in a well-lit spot.

Even then, a crook still managed to break in anyway and rig the ignition.

As police hunt for clues in this case, Miles has a message for the person who stole so many memories of his military service.

“No matter how difficult your life is or how much you need the money, maybe think twice before you hit someone’s personal stuff,” he said.

In the aftermath of this crime, Mary set up a website that provides descriptions and pictures of all the things that were stolen.

She said she hoped pawn shops would spot some of the items that had been taken.