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Family comes home from vacation to find pickup truck, 4-wheeler, boat stolen

$40,000 worth of items stolen

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MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – The Clay County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help Monday finding a person or people who stole more than $40,000 worth of vehicles from a Middleburg home.

According to the police report, the incident happened over the Thanksgiving break when the family was out of town.

“We were in Arkansas on vacation for Thanksgiving,” Arin Gale said. “We go hunting there every year, so we were there for about two weeks and then we came home just to find everything missing.”

The thief, or thieves, made off with a $25,000 pickup truck, a $6,000 four-wheeler and a pontoon boat that Gale said was priceless after receiving it from her father years ago.

“The boat was from when I was 16 years old,” Gale said. “It had a lot of memories and we planned on keeping it forever.”

Gale said the items were taken from three separate spots in the yard, and police feel the thief or thieves may have come back on separate days. They also said they believe the family’s social media activity could have tipped the suspects off.

"We were super excited because we were killing big game deer and I got my first eight-point buck,” Gale said. “So we were posting pictures online on Facebook. (I’m) just afraid that that kind of bit us in the butt.”

Gale hopes the public will share their story so detectives can get a lead. She said she and her family will never feel the same in what used to be their safe haven.

“It just made us feel very violated and scared, you know? The kids are scared when they lay down. You just never know what could happen. You feel super safe in your house and where you live, and then this stuff happens,” Gale said.

If you have any information regarding the stolen property or the identity the thief or thieves, call the Clay County Sheriff’s Office at 904-213-6620.