Firefighters in town for charity event lose truck, $30k in gear to thieves

SEATTLE -- A couple in town to participate in a charity event this weekend left Seattle nearly empty handed after their personal truck, complete with as much as $30,000 worth of firefighting gear, was stolen from a locked parking garage.

Shawn Ellinghouse and his wife Kirsty came in from Montana this weekend to participate in the 24th Annual Scott Firefighter Stairclimb, an event where firefighters climb the Columbia Center stairs in full uniform to raise money for the  Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The couple stayed at a hotel in the 200 block of  Aurora Avenue. On Monday morning, they woke to find their 2007 Toyota Tundra stolen from the secured hotel parking garage.

"It was a gated parking garage," Ellinghouse said. "We don't know how they got in."

Inside the truck was as much as $30,000 worth of firefighting gear and personal effects, Ellinghouse said, including two sets of air bottles, suits, pillows and masks.

Seattle police were called to the garage, but have not yet found the vehicle. Surveillance camera footage from the hotel shows at least one white male entering the car and leaving during the night.

Ellinghouse and his wife are returning to Montana in a rented car.

"We've stayed in Seattle four times before," Ellinghouse said. "We've never had a problem like this before."

Ellinghouse's truck is a blue 2007 Toyota Tundra with Montana Licence Plate AJT-754. The license plate says "Montana's firefighters" on it, Ellinghouse said.

Anyone who spots the stolen truck should call 911 immediately.