Military family’s stolen vehicles recovered but property is still missing

A military Coast Guard family who just transferred here from Michigan four days ago had everything stolen on Saturday.  "

"I feel violated, I’m overwhelmed and devastated," said Janet Partsch.

Janet and Bo Partsch packed their kids and everything they owned into a red 2005 Ford F-350 with Michigan license plate #EER5722, then picked up her parents in Oregon and trailered her mom's 2006 Black Jeep Grand Cherokee with Oregon license #438FBZ.

Then, all eight family members drove to Tacoma, and checked into the Best Western Plus hotel on Hosmer street. 

Nobody warned them about the crime in that area of Tacoma

On Saturday at 7 p.m., two men in a silver BMW stole their truck, trailer and Jeep from the parking lot. 

"In broad daylight, there were people coming in and out of the hotel while it was being stolen. There were people parking right next to them while it was being stolen, everybody saw it," said Janet Partsch.

The most devastating was the loss of her grandfather's pictures and an urn with his ashes. 

"It was a metal silver urn, and it was in a box with other old things of his, it was in a red box. He was the rock, he was everything, and was just really important, and that’s why we kept it locked up, and we thought it was safe," she said.

Late Sunday, the family’s black Jeep and trailer were found, with some damage to the exterior and interior.  The urn containing Janet’s grandfather’s ashes was found inside. But the truck was still missing. 

"When we got there the doors locks were punched out, the ignition was broken off, and I tried to start the vehicle, and you could sneeze on it and it’d start. That’s how easy that truck was to take," said Bo Partsch. 

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(Photo courtesy of the Partsch family)

"We found out last night at 9 p.m., by looking out our window that it was gone," said Janet. "Before we came up here from Oregon, we called a lot of hotels, this was the one that had the openings, and asked about their security, they said they had round the clock security walking the building in and out of the building."

The items lost include clothes and shoes, keepsake boxes and artwork from their four kids, along with all her mom's memories.  

"She had photos of us growing up over the years.  She had my brothers' basketball memorabilia from when he was a big basketball guy. There were wallets in there, there were phones in there, pictures of our papa, everything was in there," said Partsch.

"He was the rock. He was everything, and was just really important, and that’s why we kept it locked up, and we thought it was safe," said Partsch.

She said the hotel owner declined to share the video except through police.  We contacted the hotel to request a copy and also made a request for comment.  We left a message and are still waiting to hear back.

"I feel violated, I’m overwhelmed and devastated," said Partsch.

She says nobody told them that it was a "terrible place" and it serves as a warning to other military families. 

"His duty blues, his boots, his medals that he just got from the Coast Guard after leaving Michigan, his caps, all of our kid’s things, we have 4 kids, their clothes, our daughter’s birthday items that she just got, not even opened, gone," said Janet. 

"We really just want to recover what we can, anything we can," said Janet. "We have ashes of my grandfather, we have priceless guns that were owned by my grandfather, his fishing items which is a brown pole and spinners, my husband’s duty stuff for the coast guard, all of that is gone."  

Their Tacoma police report case is #2219002219. The hotel has surveillance video of the theft, but the owner has not responded to our request for the video. 

On Tuesday, the Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force told FOX 13 that their stolen truck was found in Tacoma. 

"Thank you to everyone who came, searched and spent their own money, their own gas money, putting miles on their own vehicles going to places no one should have to go to look for my vehicle, my belongings and my in-law's stuff," said Bo. "They sold everything they had to come up here and help take care of the kids so that my wife could get back into the workforce and everything that they worked hard for in their life is also gone."

Their vehicles and a rifle were recovered, but a lot of their property remains missing. 

"I’m missing still a 22 long revolver that was a family heirloom passed down to us, as well as my daughter's first birthday presents. I know we’ll never get those back I just hope they went to a family that needed it more than us," said Bo. 

Detectives are very grateful for the numerous tips that came in from FOX 13 viewers and the investigation is still ongoing.

"We don’t just come up on the bad guys as police officers, generally we come upon the bad guys because good community members are vigilant, they’re aware and they know what to do when it comes to reporting information to get us where we need to be," said Officer Shelbie Boyd of Tacoma Police Department.

 If you can help the family financially, donate to this GoFundMe fundraiser.


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The family is asking that if you have any information to help with this investigation, you contact the Tacoma Police Department.