Truck carrying family valuables, stolen from Rock Hill hotel found in Berkeley Co.

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comMarch 27, 2013 

The truck carrying a family’s valuables that was stolen from a Florida couple staying the night at a Rock Hill hotel this week has been found in Berkeley County, police said Wednesday.

Pat and Daniel Stark’s Ford F250 crew cab was spotted in St. Stephen, a small town in Berkeley County, said Rock Hill Police Executive Officer Mark Bollinger. But the trailer, carrying the Stark’s furniture, photo albums, china, stemware and other items they consider irreplaceable, is still missing.

Early Monday, Pat and Daniel Stark pulled off Interstate 77 for a brief stay in Rock Hill on their way to Florida from Ohio. The Starks had just finished burying Pat Stark’s 79-year-old mother, Gerri, and had loaded several of her valuables in a box trailer.

After driving through a snowstorm near Virginia and other harsh weather, they decided to pull off I-77 and rest for a few hours at the Microtel Inn & Suites on Riverview Road.

When they awoke around 9 a.m., they found that the truck and the attached box trailer were gone. Inside the vehicles were at least $100,000 in jewelry, $7,000 worth of furniture and $4,000 worth of power tools.

It’s unclear if any of the missing items in the truck were recovered.

Rock Hill Police are working with the St. Stephen Police Department, Bollinger said, to determine the contents of the truck.

The truck, Pat Stark said, had one of its locks punched out and was leaking steering fluid. She and her husband will have to take it in for repairs.

“At least we’re OK,” Pat Stark said. “We’re very lucky. You can replace belongings, but you can’t replace people.”

By Wednesday evening, there was still no sign of the trailer, police reported.

The trailer is a white 6 by 12 American Hauler Nighthawk box trailer with a tandem axle and four wheels. It also has a sticker on it that reads, “Knoll Trailer Sales,” Pat Stark said.

Jonathan McFadden •  803-329-4082

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