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AURORA, Colo. -- What started as a cross-country move for a Coast Guard family driving to their new duty station became a desperate search for all their stolen belongings.
Dan and Maggie Bartholomew and their 1-year-old daughter Mabel were driving from Oregon to Maine, when they stopped for a night in Aurora.
Their road trip adventure came to a screeching halt when they woke up Sunday morning to find their truck and trailer had been stolen from the hotel parking lot overnight Saturday into Sunday.
"We really brought everything that we hold dearest to our hearts with us and that's what got stolen," said Dan Bartholomew, who said they lost everything from old family photos to his Coast Guard awards to sentimental heirlooms. "My father passed away when I was 14, and I had his vintage train set in there."
What they were hauling across country was invaluable, but only to them.
"What would I grab if my house was on fire? What are those one or two items I would grab? And that's basically what was in the truck," said Maggie.
They posted on social media, and a friend started a GoFundMe account.
"And then people started giving," said Maggie. "People are writing notes like not everybody from Colorado is bad. Colorado cares."
The donations came from friends and from strangers, generosity from Aurora Police who sent toys for Mabel, the Marriott comping their nights, and someone slipping gift cards under their door with a note: "Heard about what happened I have three active duty siblings. I know this doesn't replace what was lost but I hope it's a start . God bless."
It's true nothing can replace what they lost, but their faith in people and family can't be stolen.
"Really having any of that back would mean everything to us," said Dan, who is still holding out hope and planning to wait at least another day in Aurora to see if his truck is found. "But people having hope gives up hope."
If you have any information about their stolen keepsakes, call Aurora Police (303) 739-1800.
Their GoFundMe has raised more than $15,000.