I was like most shooters out there, thinking that it would never happen to me, but I was about to learn how wrong I was. Seeing the broken glass all over the ground and the broken window of my truck, was one of the most heart breaking and sinking feelings I have ever experienced. My competition shotgun was gone! Robbers had rummaged through my truck, gone through my shooting bag, glove box, everything; I assume looking for my Olympic medals as well. Fortunately I had those in my purse with me. If I had my Truck Vault then this would not have happened.
The story is a scary one but one that happens a lot more than most of us realize:
I had gone to a campground near Lake Elsinore, which is about a two-hour drive from my home, to film a public service announcement to get out and vote. I drove around the nearly empty campground for about 15 minutes looking for the film crew and talking to several people asking directions. The filming took less than an hour and involved me holding my gun and wearing my medals while talking about the importance of voting. After completing the filming, I put my shotgun in the case, behind the seat of my truck with my shooting bag and some clothes piled on top. I made sure that you could not see the gun case from outside looking in the window. I remember thinking, “Who would know?” since it was so covered and hidden in a junky old beat up pickup that no one would rob it. I assumed robbers would choose the new truck with nicer things. I placed my Olympic medals in my purse.
From there I drove to the Elsinore Outlet Mall to shop. I wanted to take advantage of the long drive and stop at the mall to do some Christmas shopping. When I came back, I discovered broken glass all over the ground and a broken window on my truck! My heart sank! My competition shotgun was gone! And I was scheduled to leave the next day for a World Cup competition.
The other disturbing fact is that the police were simply going to take my report and said, “Have a nice day.” until I began calling different news people that I knew and had done interviews with in the past. Once CBS and NBC began arriving on the scene both the police and the mall security began to take my stolen shotgun seriously, especially when it aired on the 6 o’clock News that evening.
The police assigned a person to follow up on the case which included pulling the security feed from the parking lot. What I found interesting is that they had my truck entering the mall parking lot and not too long behind me was a truck that stopped in front of my parked truck for about 15 or so minutes and then left. However, the video was so fuzzy they couldn’t read the license plate. It was basically of no value except to give them the make and model of the truck and that it had a tool rack on top. The mall security was of no help, they only came to sweep up the glass stating it was a safety hazard. It didn’t matter to them that they were sweeping up evidence. They just didn’t want the broken glass in the News videos. I left the mall late afternoon with such a terrible sinking feeling.
About six months later I received a call from the Elsinore Police Department saying that they had recovered my gun! I couldn’t believe it! Apparently they did a random search at the home of a known drug dealer who was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon and found several guns stashed under his bed. One was my competition shotgun. He told the police that he didn’t steal the gun but had purchased it from the robbers (whose names he never gave up) and knew exactly what he had and whom it belonged to. He knew this because the gun case had my name in 3-inch letters embroidered inside… In his conversations with the Elsinore police, he further said the robbers had followed me from the campground. They knew I had a gun in my truck and watched as I walked into the mall. He stated that “It wouldn’t have mattered where I stopped.” Before I could even drive down to the Elsinore Police Department to recover my gun, this drug dealer was already out on bail. The police commented to me when leaving that “this was the type of person who you didn’t want to know where you lived.”
My gun was just fine and in the case. Not a scratch. They did, however, remove my equipment check stickers from the stock. This was sad as some were from my Olympic competitions, but I was just so happy to get my shotgun back that I really didn’t care about the stickers. After seeing my gun and getting it back, it made me angry that this person was already out of jail. How could he get out after everything? I decided then and there that I never wanted this to happen again so I actually started researching security products. It is well known that robbers will go to big matches and put tracking devices or marks on vehicles so that later in the night, when you’re back at the hotel, they can drive through the hotel parking lots looking for the vehicle’s they marked or tracked to rob. This is very common knowledge and happens to so many in the shooting circuit. I wasn’t going to be a victim a second time. My research led me to TruckVault.
Since then, I have installed a TruckVault into my new truck and now I can leave my gun with confidence that it will be there when I return. It allows me to safely store not just my gun but my ammo, shooting bag, and anything else valuable.
My husband is a musician and he uses our TruckVault for his music equipment: microphones, cables, speakers, etc. When his band plays, he knows that any extra equipment is locked up and safe. On occasion my father even locks his tools in the drawers. It also keeps everything inside clean and dry. The back seat of my truck is open for passengers and my TruckVault allows me to safely lock everything up and out-of-sight.
The nice thing is there are a ton of different options to make the TruckVault functional for your own personal needs. Each drawer locks and because the drawers pull all the way out, items are easily accessible. The drawers roll out easily even with heavy tools inside.
I’ll never have another vehicle without the security of a TruckVault.
6X Olympic Medalist: 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016
3 golds, 1 silver, and 3 bronze