U-Haul with over $1 million in music equipment stolen from SeaTac hotel parking lot


SEATAC, Wash. — King County detectives are asking for help locating a U-Haul van that was stolen from a hotel parking lot in SeaTac containing over $1 million in musical equipment.

The van was parked in the Double Tree Hotel parking lot along International Boulevard. Photos show the van being taken from the parking lot early Friday morning around 4:10 a.m.

It was anything but a harmonious note on which to begin the Western International Band Clinic. Never in the 20 years the convention has been held at the Sea-Tac Double Tree has their U-Haul been stolen. Convention founder Max McKee told KIRO 7 the U-Haul was full of $50,000 worth of musical instruments, equipment, computers and memorabilia.

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McKee said the theft happened early Friday morning.  "At 8 o'clock in the morning, we realized that all of our materials to run this convention, every packet for every enrollee, for about 800 people, were all gone,” said McKee. “They broke in, got into the truck, commandeered it, broke the gate. They had it all planned."

While the U-Haul was unattended, it also was in a locked lot.

McKee said, "Obviously, this is an organized crime from some source."

The King County Sheriff’s Office released a photo of the U-Haul captured by surveillance camera.

The U-Haul is a Ford F-450, orange and white, with a large picture of a zebra on the side. It has a Washington license plate, number AG29943. A dark colored pickup truck with two white stripes on top of the cab seen in the area may have been involved, too.

To ensure the next convention begins on a high note, McKee said he would have to do things differently. "We'll have to have an armed guard with the truck in places where we stop for the night," he said.

Though much of what was stolen was insured, McKee said he’d very much like to get back their memorabilia. That is priceless.

The Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information on the theft to call 9-1-1.