SAN ANTONIO – Road-weary and hungry after a 2,100-mile trip from Washington state, Air Force Capt. Anthony Giebelhaus, his wife Brittany and his brother Austin checked into the Drury Inn at Interstate 10 and Loop 1604 early Sunday evening.
After putting their family dog, Peanut, upstairs, Giebelhaus said they decided to eat before unloading and unpacking. But less than hour later, they had nothing to unload or unpack.
"I thought he was kidding," Giebelhaus said after describing how his brother had told him that everything they brought with them had been stolen from the back parking lot.
Giebelhaus said thankfully, his wife's only solace was that Peanut wasn't taken.
"She's literally part of our family, and it just breaks my heart she could have been in that car," Brittany Giebelhaus said.
"It was like a movie," his brother, Austin Giebelhaus, said.
It took only 20 minutes for a thief to steal two vehicles and a prized motorcycle, along with all the family's belongings and cherished family mementos.
Anthony Giebelhaus is about to begin flight instructor training at Randolph Air Force Base, and he said the thief also took his medical and flight records and his flight suits.
They said they can't help but wonder if it was an inside job or whether more than one thief was involved.
"There was no broken glass, nothing," Anthony Giebelhaus said.
It also didn't help that the hotel is at the intersection of two of the city's busiest highways, with a driveway leading to a nearby access road from the parking lot in which the theft occurred.
"So it's not hard for them to just go out that way, right out to the highway," Austin Giebelhaus said.
Brittany Giebelhaus said the desk clerk appeared shocked when Brittany told her, "You guys said it was OK to park back here, and now our cars are gone."
Anthony Giebelhaus said San Antonio police told him they would alert officers to be on the lookout for their vehicles.
An employee at Drury Inn said the manager was out of town, so they would have no comment at this time.