Missing truck found relatively intact after more than a week

| 12/5/2006

After more than a week of hell wondering where their stolen truck was and trying to figure out how they were going make a living without their only source of income, Robert and Diane Whaley's truck has been found.

Diane Whaley said that although it was stripped and trashed on the inside, it was in better condition than they expected, considering they had just put a new engine and a new transmission in the truck in October.

"Whoever took our truck obviously didn't know what they were looking for - they left the engine that was worth $22,000 and the transmission that we spent around $3,600 on," Whaley said.

The truck was found a little more than 1 mile north of where it was stolen: from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Stockbridge, GA, on Nov. 14.

After several days with no word, Diane Whaley said she had pretty much no hope of recovering their truck.

"We thought it had been driven to a warehouse somewhere and had been stripped and repainted or something," Whaley said.

While the outside of the truck was left mostly intact, the inside of the truck did not fare so well, Whaley said.

"They took pretty much everything and stripped everything but the bed and the seats on the inside," she said.

She said whomever took the truck removed the refrigerator, television, microwave and all of the food they had stored in the truck.

"All they left were three cans of pork and beans and some ketchup," Whaley said.

Now that they have their livelihood back, the couple plans to once again head back out on the road and make a living as owner-operators.

"We were in training to be hired drivers again since our truck was gone, but now that we have it back again, we are going to clean it up and get back out there," she said.

This is good news for the Whaleys, who had to call family members from their home town of Plant City, FL, to come pick them up in Georgia, after the carrier they were leased to terminated their contract after the truck went missing.

- By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer