The tiny house movement never expected this:- instead of them stealing from his home, Lawrence Thomas returned to the street where he had parked his 95 square foot house in Hermiston Oregon, to discover thieves had actually made off with his entire home.
The custom-made tiny building was stolen after Thomas parked it in Hermiston while passing through the area. Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan said his office took a report of the theft on Jan. 1 and is investigating.
Thomas said most of his possessions were in the house, including important documents like his birth certificate, and sentimental items that can’t be replaced.
“I really like the idea of a tiny house,” he said. “You save money, and you don’t have a mortgage. My idea was to buy a plot of land and then make the tiny house as off-grid as possible. You can enjoy a higher quality of life without having to spend all your money on rent.”
Thomas estimates the house’s value at about $25,000.
“My house was small — even for a tiny house,” he said. The 95 square-foot structure was 17 feet long by 7.5 feet wide. Thomas lived in it with his two dogs.
“I’m trying to get the word out so that if anyone sees it, they can report it and maybe I can get it back,” he said.
Because of a snowstorm in the Blue Mountains, Thomas, who was moving from Seattle to Las Vegas, stopped at the One Stop Mart outside of Hermiston in late December. He was driving an SUV and hauling his house, where he’d been living for the last four months.
Unable to drive in the bad weather, he parked up at a truck stop on Interstate 84. He spent the night there and realized the next morning that he couldn’t take the house with him in the snow. He said he talked to the manager at the truck stop, who said he could leave the house there until he came back to pick it up.
“She was very helpful, and asked me to pull the tiny house in front of the shop so she could see it,” he said. “And because she said cameras were facing it.”
The two exchanged information, and Thomas continued on to Las Vegas. Then, on New Year’s Eve, he found out the house was gone — and the surveillance cameras he was told would be on his house were in fact facing another direction.
“The manager said they’re going to try to find it,” he said. “They found out the cameras were not pointing that way. The house was locked down and dead-bolted, but someone used bolt cutters and took the house.”
Thomas is now living in Las Vegas with a friend. He spent about 6 months building the house.
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