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Stolen Cabin Swiped From Foundation Found

Chris Hempel and her family arrived Tuesday in Springdale to find only the concrete blocks the cabin sat on still there.
/ Source: NBC News

This cabin was lost — and found.

A missing cabin in the woods north of Spokane, Washington, was discovered Thursday morning by deputies, Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen told NBC News. The cabin’s owner first reported the structure stolen Tuesday. Within the last two weeks, someone managed to pry the 10-by-20-foot structure from its foundation, leaving behind only the cement blocks, the owner said.

Working off a tip, deputies found the tiny vacation home less than 10 miles from its original property, and Allen said charges are pending in the case.

“We think someone stole it to live in it,” said Allen, adding that the property where the cabin was located was also home to “heavy equipment.”

Chris Hempel, the owner of the cabin, told NBC affiliate KHQ that her family knew something was amiss when the gate to their property in the community of Springdale was cut open.

“Drove up to (the cabin) expecting it to maybe be broken windows, maybe a little vandalism, something stolen from the front of it," Hempel said. "We walked up and it was gone."

The Hempels have a name for their $7,000 home on 20 acres near a lake: "Hempel Hideaway."

But the Hempel matriarch said they were in "total dumbfounded shock" to see their weekend getaway gone — and contacted the sheriff’s office to investigate the strange cabin caper.

"It's frustrating when you work as hard as you do and get things you enjoy to have," she said, "and someone comes in and steals it from you."

But Allen said he called the Hempels with the good news Thursday. “They were overjoyed,” he said.


— Erik Ortiz