Owner heartbroken as POW/MIA show truck stolen in Texas

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 6/24/2014

A working show truck dedicated to the Gold Star Mothers and POW/MIA went missing in Lewisville, Texas, in the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 24, leaving owner-operator and OOIDA Life Member Steve Davenport in a state of shock.

Davenport, a Lewisville resident and seasoned Rolling Thunder campaigner, says he parked his black 2003 Peterbilt 379 and Reinke step-deck trailer loaded with roofing materials for the night in a gated lot in his hometown. He says 35 to 40 construction and gravel trucks use the lot.

Nikohle Ellis

“I’m just shocked,” Davenport said.

“I loaded down in Ennis, south of Dallas. The load was going to Tulsa. I decided to take my break at home in Lewisville. … I went down to get on the road this morning and the whole thing was gone.”

He said the gate to the lot was open when he arrived at 5:30 a.m. The gravel and construction trucks usually start rolling out early before the morning rush hour.

“I can’t comprehend it right now. I just don’t have a clue. It would have to be somebody that’s familiar with where I park,” he said.

OOIDA issued a TRACER alert this morning with a complete description of the truck. The alert went to thousands of members who are signed up to receive and send two-way communications about stolen property and other suspicious or criminal activity.

Nikohle Ellis

Anyone who knows Steve Davenport knows his dedication to the Gold Star Mothers and Rolling Thunder. For more than three decades, Davenport has made the annual Memorial Day pilgrimage to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. He rides in honor of high-school friend Robert Cupp who was killed in Vietnam in 1968.

His custom paint job by the Chrome Shop Mafia in 2012 honors the Gold Star Mothers and contains the names of 75 soldiers who did not come home from the war. A slogan on the truck reads “Your memory will never fade.”

“I’ve always felt close to it and have never missed being at the Wall for Memorial Day or Veterans Day for the past 34 years,” he said. “I’m kind of in shock right now that it could just disappear like that.”

The truck contains other distinct markings, including the name “Hitechway” on the sides.

Davenport said he placed a call to 911 but waited 45 minutes with no response. It was only after a second call, he said, that an officer responded.

Davenport is holding on to some hope that the person or persons who took the truck only wanted the load and will abandon the rig somewhere.

“Maybe somebody can help us out and will see it,” he said.

TRACER offers a $500 reward for information leading to the recovery of the truck. Anyone with information is asked to call 202-246-2698.

Last year, he donated his customized 1990 Harley-Davidson Softail to the Gold Star Mothers who in turn donated it to become part of the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall exhibit.

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