A Northwest woman moving to Santa Cruz County to study traditional Chinese medicine had half of her worldly possessions stolen from her this week.
Jane Erbez, who will attend Five Branches University in Santa Cruz, drove from Portland to Corralitos earlier this week with her girlfriend. They planned to stay with friends in the Corralitos hills while the couple apartment-hunted.
She parked her Toyota truck across the street from the Corralitos Market late Monday because it was too weighed down with their belongings to make it up their friends' steep driveway. The plan was to shuttle moving boxes up the hill in the morning.
But eight and a half hours later, the white pickup truck was gone.
"Jane’s life was in the back of the pickup truck—her clothes, dishes, photos, books, massage table and other school supplies," said Michelle Overmeyer, the friend Erbez was staying with. "It is all gone. What a horrible welcome to Santa Cruz County."
Overmeyer, who is married to , discovered the truck missing when she left for work Tuesday morning. A van that had been parked next to the truck was untouched.
Erbez checked with tow companies to make sure the truck hadn't been impounded. It wasn't, so she filed a police report with the California Highway Patrol.
The couple still has about half of their belongings, which were packed in the other car they drove from Oregon. They haven't done a full inventory of what's missing, but Erbez knows her Custom Craftwork massage table, all of her books for Chinese medicine, gardening tools, pots and pans, bike bags and a camping chair are gone.
“This is just a bummer," Erbez said, "but I think we know what we need to do.”
Already, strangers have offered them a bed frame and more. A friend posted about Erbez's plight in the Facebook group Bargains Abound Santa Cruz County in hopes of finding the truck and belongings intact.
Thursday, the women were applying for rentals. Erbez said she hopes things get better from here.
"We’re just trying to find a place to live and do that first, then figure out what we need," Erbez said.
The stolen truck is a small, white Toyota with Washington state license plates. The tailgate is a little scuffed and the Toyota markings are missing from the back. Anyone who has seen it is asked to contact the California Highway Patrol Aptos office at 662-0511.