PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (KCTV) -
A Prairie Village family is pleading for the public's help in finding its vintage 1962
Airstream Overlander, which was stolen as work was wrapping up on overhauling it.
The 26-foot campus, which a Prairie Village woman considers an heirloom, was stolen between Friday night and Saturday morning. It was stolen from the lot of a Kansas City, KS business where workers were finishing some kitchen work.
We took road trips all growing up in this airstream, Catie Ebert remembers.
It belonged to her grandfather. It's traveled as far as Mexico and spanned three generations. The vintage camper was nearly a thing of the family's past, rotting away on Ebert's family farm.
I begged and begged and begged my uncle to let me buy it from them. Finally for my birthday I convinced him to give it to me. So the last six years, it was my labor of love, Ebert said.
She and her husband, Clint, gutted the interior and rebuilt everything. They spent tens of thousands of dollars restoring the trailer.
Friday was the culmination of all that work she was getting the countertops installed. The Eberts dropped it off at Top Masters in KCK, a counter installation business located off Roe Lane.
The countertops were kind of like the last piece to the missing puzzle, Ebert said.
They were told to leave it overnight so the silicone could properly dry. The couple says they felt safe since they had a heavy duty trailer ball hitch lock to secure it. Ebert and her husband even drove by the lot late Friday night to check on it.
When her husband went by at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, it was gone.
"No signs of anything. It was just gone, Ebert said.
Along with it, family pictures from camping trips and paperwork documenting the Airstream's membership in the historic Wally Byam Airstream Club. Most every tangible memory that Ebert had of family road trips was in the stolen camper.
A few years ago, my uncle who gave it to me passed away so he didn't actually get to see it finished. It's a family tradition, it's a family story. It's something that's not replaceable by insurance, said Ebert who is expecting her first child. "It's the feeling of losing a family member."
Fighting back tears, Ebert said she's begging whomever took it, to just leave it anywhere in any kind of condition.
My plea is just that leave it in a parking lot somewhere. I don't care what you do with it. Just get it back to me, she pleaded.
Since posting her plea to social media Saturday, Ebert's story has been shared more than 180 times. She's received countless emails from RV park owners and Airstream enthusiasts across the country who are keeping their eyes peeled.
I think all classic Airstreams are heirlooms to somebody. The Airstream is part of our American culture and part of our American history that people really relate to, Ebert said.
The Airstream is newly polished with a distinct unpolished strip at the top. It had Texas travel plates on it. If you have any information about the whereabouts, call police.
Read more: Family pleads for help after vintage Airstream stolen - KCTV5