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Couple pleading for return of wedding photos after U-Haul reportedly broken into

The Koeslings
Posted at 9:47 PM, Sep 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-25 15:39:36-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A couple is desperate for the public's help in finding items reportedly stolen from their U-Haul when they stopped in Kansas City, Missouri.

Samuel and Shelby Koesling operate a wedding photography business. The newlyweds stopped in Kansas City halfway into their cross-country move from Portland, Oregon, to South Carolina.

The couple said they discovered their U-Haul was broken into after they parked it at a Holiday Inn Express near Kansas City International Airport on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

“We had parked the night before at 11:45 p.m., checked into the hotel and came out around 8 a.m. and found that our U-Haul was completely broken into," Shelby Koesling said.

A KCMO police spokesperson confirms a report was filed regarding a U-Haul trailer that had been broken into.

The couple said numerous items were stolen including wedding dresses from their recent ceremony, a wedding ring and watch, tax information, a birth certificate and other personal documents, including two data drives containing wedding photos from three of Samuel's clients.

“Three brides that have no photos, wedding photos," Samuel Koesling said. "It’s horrible. It’s heartbreaking."

He said his cameras were also stolen, leaving him without a way to earn a living as a photographer.

“This is a big deal," Samuel Koesling said. "I make my life, I make a living out of this, so they took my cameras as well, which I know I’m not going to get back, but all I’m asking is for my drives that have my data in there and things I can’t get back."

The data drives are described as LaCie drives 8TB with serial numbers NL6C77FX and NL6C5P11. Samuel Koesling also reported a missing 2019 iMac with a serial number of C02YN1A8JV40.

All items were inside a blue Tommy Hilfiger suitcase.

Since the theft, a GoFundMe has been started for the couple.

"These happen from time to time, and they are extremely devastating to the owners, and frustrating for us as police and citizens of Kansas City. This should never happen to a guest in our city," a KCPD spokesperson said in a statement.

KCPD suggests travelers heed the following tips:

  • Park in a well-lit portion of the parking lot near the entrance and exit
  • If possible, park near the window/door to your room so you can hear if someone is breaking in
  • Call the hotel ahead of time and ask what security protocols exist for the property

Anyone with information on the missing items is asked to call KCPD at 816-234-5111 or the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.