HOUSTON - A tip led Harris County Sheriff deputies to several stolen vehicles, including a trailer taken from a pair of quilters in town for the world’s largest quilt festival.
What Rich Richey and Jamie Wallen saw inside their trailer, once full of a life’s work and tools needed to start over, made them cry.
“(The thieves) have no idea what they’ve destroyed,” Richey said.
“We’re upset with what we see because we don’t see a lot there,” Wallen said. “But we’re happy with what we have.”
Wallen and Richey had 21 years’ worth of custom, handcrafted quilts. Their Indiana-based business, Quilters Apothecary, sells around the world. So the world’s biggest quilt festival in Houston is always a must. Five years in a row, they stayed at the same hotel and parked in the same spot without trouble until Sunday. Someone swiped their trailer. It held roughly $100,000 worth of goods, the quilters said.
“I never even imagined the amount of attention this got,” Richey said.
Days after our story showed their loss, Harris County Sheriff’s deputies got a tip. Near a northeast Harris County repair lot, investigators found 3 stolen vehicles, including the quilters’ trailer.
“I don’t know if the quilts are in there,” Richey said. “I have no way of knowing yet because of the way everything is.”
With locks broken, the men can’t sort through their jumbled boxes until they find a safe place to park and unload.
However, they won’t needle police to hurt the thieves.
“I’m angry and frustrated,” Wallen said. “But I’m also, how do you go after people who are hurting? I don’t know.”
It turns out these quilters are made of very forgiving fabric.
(© 2016 KHOU)