Stolen Cabin Turns Up 10 Miles Away

Police: Suspect was 'planning on living in it'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2015 8:13 AM CDT
Stolen Cabin Turns Up 10 Miles Away
Moose Hempel, left, stands Wednesday, April 8, 2015, with his children, Tyler and Kayla and wife Chris at the site where their cabin used to stand near Springdale, Wash.   (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Tyler Tjomsland)

A stolen cabin has been discovered 10 miles from where it was plucked from its foundation in northeastern Washington. A tip led authorities yesterday to a "very remote, narrow road down in a ravine" on private property, where the 200-square-foot "Hempel Hideaway" was found, owner Chris Hempel tells the Spokesman-Review. Someone "had it tucked back up in the woods on stilts" and constructed a deck around it, apparently making use of materials from now-dismantled bunk beds inside, adds Hempel, who visited the site. "It's going to be very difficult getting it out of there." She says there's some structural damage and much of the family's camping gear and equipment are gone and have been replaced with personal belongings. A Stevens County sheriff says police have a suspect but haven't made any arrests.

"We believe the person who stole this cabin, or people who stole the cabin, were planning on living in it," the sheriff says, per KXLY. Hempel says the suspect is male, but "I don't think he could have done that job by himself just looking at where it was and how it was set up." The cabin was stolen from the Hempels' 20-acre property near Nine Mile Falls sometime after March 21. KREM reports a neighbor saw a trailer carrying the cabin away in broad daylight. "I was sitting here at my desk and saw the shed go by thinking that somebody got their shed repossessed and found out later that it was stolen," she says. "I didn't think anything of it" until news of the theft spread. The sheriff adds the Hempels can arrange to transfer the cabin back to their property once an investigation wraps up. (Something similar happened in Oregon this year.)

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