HOUSTON - An Indiana artist in Houston for the International Quilt Festival is trying to find his stolen trailer containing more than 40 quilts, his tools and supplies.
Heartbroken and pleading for help, Jamie Wallen said his trailer was stolen sometime after 9 p.m. Sunday from the Extended Stay America along the Southwest Freeway. He valued the trailer and the items inside at close to $100,000.
Wallen hits the open road every year from Indiana with a trailer full of quilts, Twenty years of work, all of his teaching supplies and everything his business rides on. When Wallen walked outside his hotel room Monday morning, the trailer was gone.
Out of desperation, he and his business partner posted a video on Facebook that got thousands of shares. But Wallen said it’s much more than quilt or blankets - it’s his livelihood.
His career, which he began after he left his job as a nurse, has helped create timeless pieces of art. For some, he teaches how weave together memories of a lost loved one. One of the quilts in the stolen trailer is for a cancer survivor.
“It’s the healing process. And if it was products then you would just go with it, but the quilts have serious sentimental value as well as some monetary value,” said Wallen.
The festival was a place that would help ensure the future of his life’s work.
“I hope they find the trailer obviously. I hope that whoever has the trailer, drops it somewhere or doesn’t put all the things in the dumpster,” said Wallen.
Wallen has filed a police report with HPD. The Extended Stay America hotel staff is working to recover video from surveillance cameras.
The stolen trailer has Indiana license plates: TR388APP.