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Thieves steal everything from New Brunswick couple moving to B.C.

Stephanie Ip, Postmedia Network

Nathan and Sabrina Drover at their Vancouver, BC home Wednesday, September 20, 2017. The Drovers were in the process of moving from New Brunswick to Vancouver when the U-Haul containing all their possessions was stolen in Abbotsford. (Photo by Jason Payne/ Postmedia Network)

Nathan and Sabrina Drover at their Vancouver, BC home Wednesday, September 20, 2017. The Drovers were in the process of moving from New Brunswick to Vancouver when the U-Haul containing all their possessions was stolen in Abbotsford. (Photo by Jason Payne/ Postmedia Network)

A young New Brunswick couple that recently moved across the country to B.C. is doing their best to stay positive after a U-Haul packed with all their belongings – including irreplaceable family mementos – was stolen in Abbotsford, just hours before reaching their new home in Vancouver.

Sabrina and Nathan Drover, 26 and 25, were living in Moncton when they decided in July they would make the move across the country. Nathan plans to complete his masters of divinity at Regent College, and Sabrina got a job with Saint James Music Academy, teaching free music classes to kids in the Downtown Eastside.

Within days of their decision, the couple found a basement suite in Vancouver's Dunbar Heights and had booked a moving company.

"We basically packed the car with what we would need to be one or two weeks in Vancouver without the truck so we packed a few dishes, an air mattress and a blanket, as well we each had a suitcase," said Sabrina.

The Drovers left Moncton separately from the moving truck in mid-August. They stopped in Ontario to visit family, and then again in Banff before arriving on the West Coast Sept. 5.

On the morning of Sept. 12 – when the moving company was scheduled to arrive – Abbotsford Police received a call about a vehicle stolen from the park-and-ride lot at Lonzo Road and Sumas Way.

"The caller indicated that one of the trucks his moving company was escorting to the West Coast from Moncton, New Brunswick was stolen," said Const. Ian MacDonald. The van, a white Ford E450 U-Haul cube van, was found empty the following day in Surrey.

The couple knew there was a chance a box might go missing or that there could be some damage during a cross-country move but nothing prepared them for the news that everything was gone.

"It's quite emotionally wrenching at times to realize that all of those things that marked out your home, the things you're familiar with – you're probably not going to have those things again," said Nathan.

Some of the missing items include a cake topper saved from the couple's 2015 wedding, cherished sheet music with Sabrina's notes, an Ibanez bass guitar Nathan has had since junior high, inherited household furnishings, mementos from a missions trip to Chile, clothing, kitchen appliances, books, electronics, a handmade quilt, handmade dish towels from Sabrina's recently passed aunt and a tool box handmade by Nathan's dad.

"The hardest part has been thinking about the irreplaceable things," said Sabrina, who noted they've started an insurance claim. "Nathan and I have always tried not to put a lot of value on stuff ... but there were things I can't replace that were on that truck."

The couple, who now attend Dunbar Heights Baptist, have had members of their church family donate furniture, and Sabrina's work has offered pay advances. In addition to losing almost everything they own, Sabrina is still recovering from a dislocated knee and is doing her best to stay healthy after fighting cancer in recent years.

"We've always said there's no point in us sitting here and crying at home," said Sabrina. "That's not going to do anything so going off to work and being able to pour myself into helping the children who are there, in a way, helps me as well."

The couple are now asking the public to help keep an eye out for some of the items, whether on Craigslist or at a pawn shop. Anyone with information about the theft or who recognizes any of the items should contact Abbotsford Police at 604-859-5225 or by text at 222973 (abbypd). Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

sip@postmedia.com