GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Elle Spikner knew her life would change in a big way when she chose to move from her home in Memphis to attend college in Greensboro.
“I was like, I wish we would have picked an earlier time to move in because I’m so excited. The adrenaline is definitely up,” Spikner said.
She wasn’t prepared for how much how life would change in one night.
“I had just packed everything up in the trailer. I had organized everything,” she said.
Now her belongings are gone. She spent her last night with her family in a hotel before moving in at North Carolina A&T State University, only to wake up and find thieves had struck.
Her mom, Inger Spikner, says they thought they had taken safety precautions.
“What we thought would be secured, even spoke to the hotel desk asking them where the best place is to park a trailer,” Inger Spikner said.
The family said they even double checked before going to bed to make sure the trailer was locked, but that didn’t stop the thieves,
“My heart immediately sank. I was like, this can’t be happening right now. This is like the worst news ever,” the incoming A&T student said.
“It was very disheartening when my husband got up and noticed that some of our things were out of the trailer on the sidewalk,” her mom added.
The dispatcher on a 911 call placed by the family said, “I’ll submit the information for a telephone response who will give you a call over the phone. That way you can go about your day. I know you’re doing college move-ins, and unfortunately, this is happening at quite a few of the hotels right now.”
FOX8 reached out to Greensboro police, who couldn’t give specific numbers, but said larcenies from automobiles typically happen at hotels. Especially when items are left unsecured and in plain sight in a vehicle. Thieves know people are traveling, and carrying precious belongings, especially when a lot of students are moving in from out of town.
“We did notice there were other U-Hauls in the parking lot. My husband walked around to check out them, and their doors were up as if someone went into their U-Hauls as well,” Inger Spikner said.
Clothing and shoes are a few things they noticed were taken.
“It’s hard to know exactly what’s gone until you unpack. They were things that we were hoping to send her off to school with that had sentimental value to us, that might not mean anything to anyone else,” Inger Spikner said.
While this is not the adventure they were hoping for, they plan to make the best of the move-in day and use their story to prevent anyone else from going through what they went through.
“Do a better job of securing your valuables than we did. Maybe a bigger stronger lock. Maybe backing it up to a brick wall where they can’t open it. Welcome to North Carolina. What a welcome package?” Inger Spikner said.
Police say to avoid situations like this from happening, make sure you lock your doors and remove all valuable items from your vehicle. In addition, when staying at hotels, try to park near entrances and doors that are in well-lit areas.