NEW ORLEANS -- A New Orleans native moved back to the city and, almost immediately, everything he owns was stolen.
Thieves stole Brad Reese's UHaul from the Lower Garden District before he even had a chance to unpack and now he's learning that it's a common crime.
Reese drove through the night Sunday on his move back to New Orleans. He left the UHaul truck on the corner of St. Mary and Coliseum in the Lower Garden District before crashing at his parent's house across the street.
"I had the truck locked and padlocked and kept it all 50 feet away from where I was sleeping," Reese said. "Woke up the next morning and the truck was gone."
At first Reese thought maybe it had been towed, but security footage and evidence left at the scene showed it was stolen.
"There was a popped lock from the driver side door sitting on the ground so I realized at that point it had been taken," Reese said.
Reese began searching and found the UHaul almost immediately. It was left near an abandoned lot on Desire Street above Claiborne. Almost all of Reese's belongings were gone.
"Electronics, clothes, furniture- everything." Reese said.
Reese says UHaul employees told him this was a common problem.
"They said this is the third one this week and it's only Wednesday," Reese said.
The NOPD don't have any specific numbers on how many UHauls are stolen each year, but they do have some suggestions to help prevent them from being stolen. They say make sure you lock your doors, leave your car or your UHaul in a well lit area and make sure you have your emergency break on.
Reese says this unwelcome surprise upon moving back to the city made him hesitant to stay at first.
"I'm not sure this is where I want to be or raise my family," Reese said. "There's just too much crime."
But the bad was immediately followed by an outpouring of support from his new home.
"The community is great, New Orleans as a whole is great," Reese said. "There's a lot of love in the area."
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