Sheriff’s Livestream Finds Family’s Stolen U-Haul

19December 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — “Last night was a little busier, a little more eventful than normal,” said Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, who has been doing his ‘Live on Patrol’ YouTube and Facebook streams for over a year. But none quite like Friday night.

After discussing a stolen U-Haul case, a viewer called it in.

“It’s not the first time that a viewer has actually spotted something, but it’s probably the most significant because of the mementos and all the personal belongings that were in that U-Haul,” Fletcher said.

“We were all very ecstatic and I can’t even explain the amount of joy we were all feeling,” Lily Martinez said, one of the victims of the U-Haul theft.

Martinez and her family arrived at their new home in Texas Friday. Fletcher even had Lily’s mother Meagan Martinez on the live stream to tell her the news.

“It’s everything, my great grandparent’s stuff and everything,” Meagan said. “Oh my god. All the stuff from my mom who passed away. All the stuff from my kids growing up. That’s amazing to me, I hope it’s all in there.”

“My son is autistic. So, all his important things that he needs to learn and grow were on that truck,” Lily said.

But that’s not where the night slowed down. Just five minutes after leaving the site of the U-Haul, Fletcher found himself in a car chase.

“Police work is like that. You can have two hours of boredom and then a half-hour of sometimes terrifying activity, it all depends on what kind of circumstances you’re in,” Fletcher said.

Unrelated to the previous case, the driver who had a warrant out took Fletcher and everyone watching on a 10 minute chase before the driver was arrested. A passenger got away on foot.

“There’s always risk to chases but the risk of not arresting career criminals means that you’re going to continue to have crime in your community and people’s homes being burglarized,” Fletcher said.

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