Yukon Family Learns Camper They Bought Online Was Stolen
YUKON, Oklahoma - A family's time with their dream camper is cut short when they learn the camper they bought online was actually stolen.
They learned it belonged to another family through social media.
It's not easy for 4-year-old Easton to let go of the camper his dad just brought home, but he'll soon have to.
"[It is] crushing because we had been looking for a long time. The boys were all excited you know when we got home. We just played in it," said Bret Thomas.
For over a year, the Yukon family searched online for a good camper in their price range. That's when Thomas spotted a Craiglist ad for a used Pop-up camper for $500. Thomas jumped on the deal and met with the seller at Wal-Mart near I-40 and MacArthur last Thursday. The camper didn't have a title, but Thomas got a handwritten bill of sale.
Thomas says the seller told him he had taken the camper with his wife to Lake Thunderbird all the time and that he was out of work and that he just needed the money. Thomas paid him in cash, and the 1977 Jayco camper was all his.
"This was going to be our little home base," Thomas said. "Most of them you find in this price range, their canvases are just ripped up and shredded."
It was going to be a great way to spend family weekend trips at Lake Arcadia. Excited, Thomas posted pictures of his new purchase online, but it wasn't long before friends notified him that his new buy actually belonged to someone else.
"It ended up being a friend of a friend's trailer that was stolen that morning," he said.
Even more bizarre, Thomas' wife went to high school with the owner of the camper and he's even been to the family's home to fix their AC unit.
"He was a really nice guy. I remember him from that time, and so we contacted him [and we] were able to easily to deal with him, and he was obviously happy to get his property back," Thomas said.
The owner was able to identify a broken handle wrapped in electrical tape and Christmas lights stored inside a cabinet. It was a heartbreaking hang-up for the Thomas family, who will once again have to put their camping plans on the back burner.
"Legally, the trailer would be ours I guess, is what they were saying. But I know that he used it for his family and their memories and I couldn't take something like that from someone," Thomas said.
A missing camper report was filed with Edmond Police and Thomas filed reports with Yukon Police and Oklahoma City Police where the payment occurred.
Thomas says he is not sure if the seller actually stole the camper or was just in possession of it. He has tried calling the seller and contacting him on Facebook and says he would not press charges if he got his money back.