POLITICS

Canadian snowbirds reunited with RV stolen, trashed in Texas

01/28/2015 04:31 EST | Updated 03/30/2015 05:59 EDT
A Canadian snowbird couple has been reunited with their motor home that was stolen on New Year's Eve in Texas — or rather with what's left of it.

Dennis Klone, of Slave Lake, Alta., said the recreational vehicle was taken from a storage facility in San Antonio, where he and his wife own a home.

Two weeks later police found the vehicle in a lot along with other RVs, pickup trucks, sports cars and a trailer full of beer.

Klone said the RV was in dismal condition. The front door was gone, the refrigerator ripped out of the wall and glass from a shattered mirror littered the ground. There was blood on the bed, condoms on the night stand as well as a bucket full of drug paraphernalia. Engagement, wedding and family photos were missing.

"The frames are there, but the pictures are gone," the 65-year-old said Wednesday in a phone interview from San Antonio. There's about $25,000 in damage to the outside alone, he said. The batteries are dead, a tire is flat and "the sewage is right full."

"It's just overwhelming," he said. "My wife hasn't even seen it. I won't even bring her down here. It's trashed. There's a lot of good memories in that motor home."

And the kicker: "The guy who stole it was the same size as me and he was wearing my clothes," he said.

The RV goes for $375,000 new, Klone said, but he got it for "a sweet deal — about half price" four years ago.

Klone said he had thought the storage facility — called Noah's Ark — had been safe. It had surveillance cameras and was surrounded by a fence. Surveillance footage capturing the moment the RV was stolen on Dec. 30 was broadcast on several local television stations.

Klone himself owns an RV park in Slave Lake. He runs it from May to October and then the couple travels to Ohio to visit their daughter and grandchildren before going to San Antonio where they spend the winter months.

The couple had to cancel a bunch of trips planned for the new year after their RV was stolen. Now the insurance company is involved and they're deciding whether to write it off or repair it, Klone said.

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office arrested Matthew Lopez, 32, in connection with the theft of over $1 million dollars worth of stolen goods, including Klone's RV.