PORTLAND, Ore. – When Alicia Hill got her stolen car back it was packed with junk – a lot of junk.
All of the stuff she found piled on her car and almost all of the stuff packed inside wasn't hers.
It all started when Hill arrived in Portland from Alaska in late September for a new nursing job. It didn’t start for another week and she wanted to visit a friend in Arizona.
"I wanted to rent a smaller vehicle which was good on gas mileage," she said. "I had all my belongings, and I decided that just bringing a suitcase with me would be more comfortable."
She rented a car from Budget Car and Truck Rental on 82nd Avenue. The business even let her leave her car there. The lot had locks and gates so Hill thought she was set.
The problem, however, was despite a lock and chain on the gate, it was still wide open. Anybody could walk in. Hill was later told by the owners that they'd been broken into too often, so they don't lock the gate anymore.
Sheriff's deputies found Hill's stolen and battered mini SUV at a homeless camp on the Sandy River last week. They arrested two people and one of her coats popped up for sale on Craigslist.
"Then she changed her story to her daughter found the coat in these bushes next to her school," Hill said.
Hill paid $40 to get it back.
She can replace most everything except a computer hard drive that had all her pictures from Alaska on it.
There is a bright side. The people at Hill's new job have helped her out, replacing some of the cookware and other clothing she lost to the thieves. But she still hopes to get that computer hard drive back too.
On Your Side Investigator Bob Heye started looking into this after KATU received a news tip about it. If you have a story for the On Your Side Investigators, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.