"We're kind of at a loss right now. Like, seriously," stated Chris Hempel.
Gone are the days of cattle rustling, stealing another man's horse or even taking over his gold mine. These days there seems to be another commodity worth stealing......... another man's home. The Hempel's had found their own little piece of paradise in the woods in Loon Lake Washington until this past week. They drove up on April 7th, to their property as they do every couple of weeks and found the gate had been cut open.
They drove onto the 20 acre property, named Hempel's Hideaway, and expected to find that their cabin had been broken into. They thought that there might be some windows broken or maybe some items stolen from inside but they weren't expecting what they found. They did not find anything....... yes that is correct.... nothing. Their 10x20 cabin with it's contents and furnishings had been taken completely off its foundation and was gone.
|Moose, Tyler, Kayla & Chris|
The cabin was built by Birky's Better Built Barns, a Clayton company and featured tongue and groove and groove cedar walls and had two lofts inside of it. It did not have electricity hooked up to and it was worth about $7,000 and they had owned it for about ten years. Chris stated the obvious when she said that it isn't something you can just toss in the back of your car and drive away with.
Their neighbors state that they did not hear or see anything out of the ordinary so it is suspected that the cabin was stolen during the night. It would have been easy enough to break open the gate and drive in with a large trailer to load the cabin onto. It was not visible from the road though so they are left wondering how someone knew the cabin was back there. The house thieves stole the small attached porch as well as the paving blocks that made up a small deck at the cabin.
The Hempel's contacted the sheriff's office to report the theft and put up flyers for the missing cabin, which they knew had been stolen some time between March 21st and April 7th asking for information. The officer's were following a tip that came in and on April 9th, they found the stolen cabin. It was located about 10 miles away from the Hempel's property, down the end of a private road east of Springdale. The cabin was intact and had been placed up on stilts. Officers report that it looks as though who ever had stolen the cabin was living in it and the property did have some heavy equipment on it.
While the cabin could have been removed with a trailer and other equipment, it was not something that could have been done without advance planning. There would have been no issues with disconnecting lines from it since it was not hooked up to electricity or a sewer system. their insurance would cover everything that was inside of the cabin but not the cabin itself because it lacked hookups. the police state that they have suspects in the theft but they are not publicly naming them and they are waiting for warrants right now.
This is also not the first time a cabin has been stolen like that. In Feb 2015 a cabin was stolen in Klamath County OR and was found not far from it's original location. That cabin is now in the middle of a civil case as to who had the legal right to sell the cabin which was believed to have been stolen.
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