Rare artifacts, including mammoth tusks, taken in SeaTac U-Haul theft

SEATAC, Wash. — An Alaska couple has become the latest victims of theft in SeaTac.

“Shock. Disbelief. We’re in a little bit of anger at our own naivety,” says Doug Borland. “We’re small-town people and we don’t lock our doors. We’re not worried about those types of crime. And we were just unaware that of the exposure that we might have. So, it just was shocking to us.”

Borland and his wife Olga are store owners in Sitka, Alaska. They import and sell specialty items from around the world.

Their most recent store shipment was delivered to Washington. It included rare artifacts, like mammoth tusks, hand-carved chess sets, and crates of Russian nesting dolls.

The couple packed the items in a U-Haul, which they parked at their hotel for an overnight stay.

“Sometime around midnight we got up and noticed it was stolen,” says Borland.

Surveillance video from the hotel, shows two men hot-wiring the U-Haul, before driving off.

The Borlands tell KIRO 7 the stolen items are worth more than $150,000 and aren’t covered by insurance. They’re now working with local law enforcement to get the items back.

“It was the aftermath when we learned that these types of thefts are fairly common. In the last three months, there’s been multiple U-Hauls stolen, according to our investigating officer. Not just at the airport, but other places around Seattle,” says Borland.

Jim Fuda with Crime Stoppers tells KIRO 7, moving trucks can make a person a target.

“They know someone’s moving their life somewhere else,” says Fuda about local thieves. “So, they know there’s going to be valuables in there.”

He says, it’s become a growing trend in recent years and one not likely to go away.

“These crooks know where to hit,” says Fuda.

His advice to anyone using a moving van is to put a tracker, like an Apple Airtag, inside the vehicle. That way if a truck is stolen, police can work to quickly track and recover it. Fuda also recommends anyone moving to review their insurance policy, to ensure they are covered in the event of a theft.

The Borlands are offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who helps police recover their missing items. Their stolen U-Haul was found empty days after it was stolen.

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