Sean Foley’s heart sank and he felt complete dismay when he arrived at his produce stand in Maple Valley on May 18. He had been robbed.
Foley owns a produce stand in Maple Vally called “Foley’s Produce,” and on that Saturday, he came to the stand to find that his storage containers were unlocked and left open.
“I pulled into the back of the produce stand area, the back of the property around 7 a.m. on Saturday morning and immediately noticed that the doors to my storage containers were left wide open, which I knew the night before I closed and locked,” Foley said.
According to King County Sgt. Christine Elias, dispatch was sent to Foley’s and it was discovered that tools were missing, a refrigerator was forced open and drinks and packaged food was stolen.
Foley said his storage containers were a complete wreck.
Already feeling disheartened by what he found, it only got worse when Foley realized his box truck had been stolen too.
“I assume that the individual got the keys to the truck, pulled it up, loaded up all of my tools and all the things he wanted in it and hauled it away in the truck,” Foley said.
Not including the truck, Foley said in total he’s looking at a loss of around $7,000 – $10,000.
At this point, Foley said he felt lost.
But things started turning around later in the evening.
A change of luck
Elias said at around 7:30 p.m. that same day, a King County officer found the stolen box truck, and the 40-year-old man who stole it.
Foley said he was overjoyed when he heard the news.
“I had been hoping that they were going to get a break, that they were going to locate him. By what it sounds like, sheer luck that this sheriff was driving down the same road that the truck was pulling out onto,” he explained. “The sheriff remembered that truck was suspected of being stolen and pulling it over, that was just amazing to me. It felt like the universe was really pulling together and looking out for us.”
The truck was taken in to be impounded for a search warrant, according to Elias.
Looking back, Foley said in the 14 years he’s had his produce stand in Maple Valley, he’s never experienced theft like this before.
He said he’s had the occasional food items stolen, but nothing like this.
“But the loss of all my tools that I use and rely on to repair things and fix things. That was a real let down. A real disheartening moment,” Foley said.
Planning on making sure this doesn’t happen again, Foley said he has already purchased and installed a new security system with motion sensors on doors and windows.
Along with that, he said he has also installed cameras that are hooked into that motion system with 24/7 monitoring.
He’s also looking into possibly having a someone stay at the stand over night or hiring a company that can periodically check in on it.
Then the community stepped in
To help Foley and his wife, Sarah Foley out, the community of Maple Valley has pitched in.
Foley said community members came out and shopped at his produce stand on Saturday, May 18 and the following Sunday to show their support. He also said he has received numerous donations from local businesses and customers.
“My spirits were about as low as they could possibly be on Saturday and Sunday,” Foley said. “And seeing the support that we have and the love that the community has for us, really lifted my spirits and really made me remember why I do this. To help the community and to provide them with the best product that we’re able to. And really see that they appreciate what we do for them.”
The community also gathered on Friday, May 24 to have a “Neighborhood Watch Party.” The event was hosted by a local talk show called “Alley Kat Chat.”
According to Adrianne Clark, an Alley Kat Chat member, the goal of this event was to get the community to shop local and help Foley’s raise enough money to “beef up” its security.
The idea came from Kyler Martin, from “Kyler’s Auto Detail,” Clark said.
She said for every $5 spent at Foley’s during the event, customers received a raffle ticket. Clark said a lot of prizes were donated from local businesses.
In total, around 18 businesses supported Foley’s with donations.
Sarah Foley said the evening was success and she and Sean are grateful for all the support they received from the community.