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Moving truck, car stolen from family relocating to Jacksonville

Items in truck ransacked; Furniture, electronics taken

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Grinch came early for one family that was moving to Jacksonville.

"We discovered somebody had taken our moving van along with my car," said April, who didn't want to give her last name.

She said crooks stole her family's belongings and their car as they spent the night at a hotel in Dalton, Georgia, north of Atlanta, on Dec. 6. The thieves stole their electronics, jewelry and even beds and sofas.

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April said she and her family were moving back to Jacksonville from Michigan and stopped at a Hampton Inn in north Georgia to spend the night. They parked their moving truck and the car behind it right next to the window, went to sleep and did not hear a thing.

But when they woke up in the morning, they found all their stuff was gone.

"The cop said that they were in and out in 10 minutes, so they really knew what they were doing," April said.

She and her husband have two kids -- teenagers who lost things that will be hard to replace.

"A big headache. It's not the way it was supposed to be," April said. "We should be sitting on our couch and sleeping in our beds, not air mattresses."

The thieves have not been caught, but police found the moving truck and April's car in Atlanta, about an hour south of where they were stolen.

April said everything that was stolen is worth about $20,000 to $25,000.

The inside of the moving truck with all of the family's belongings was ransacked.

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"They took all of our furniture, including our beds," April said. "They took all the electronics. They really took the time to go through each and every box. They ripped every box open."

April's family is inconvenienced, to say the least. Moving is stressful enough, and this takes it to a whole new level. But they're staying strong and remaining optimistic. They have gotten back some of their stuff. And after all, they say it could have been much worse.

"I have my pictures. I can't ask for any more," April said. "I have my pictures and I have my car, but we are kind of rebuilding from the bottom up."

April said it has been a difficult time for her family, but the community has been very generous helping out. She said they do have insurance and are waiting to see how much the company will cover.

Whitfield County Sheriff's Office Det. Eric Burnette said there have been several thefts on the Hampton Inn's property. Several of the vehicles stolen have been found abandoned in the Atlanta area. He said this was the first one in a while, however.

There is surveillance video of the 6 crime, but Burnette said it is very hard to make out the thieves. He believes someone in a white car is involved in the theft.

Deputies said they're increasing patrols in the area.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Whitefield County Sheriff's Office detective division at 706-278-3029.

If you would like to help the family, go to their GoFundMe account.