FALLBROOK, Calif. (KGTV) - An expectant mother and equine veterinarian got a heart-wrenching holiday surprise when she discovered her truck stolen from her garage.
On Christmas Eve morning, horse veterinarian, Joleen Elston spent a few hours in her garage, stocking up her truck, before heading back into her house off Mission Road in Fallbrook. Less than an hour later, she heard something.
"I did hear a Dodge truck leaving, and I assumed it was my husband leaving for work,” said Elston.
But it wasn't her husband. A neighbor’s surveillance video shows the truck being driven away, after someone snuck into the garage and grabbed the keys off a table.
“It was't even real to see it gone out of the garage. That is my baby, my whole life,” said Elston.
Inside that truck was her entire mobile practice including X-ray, ultrasound and dental equipment, totaling more than a $150,000.
Without the equipment, her work is stalled.
“Had a lot of appointments that were supposed to happen this week that I had to cancel,” said Elston.
On Friday morning, her truck was found abandoned outside an Escondido apartment complex, minus nearly all of her equipment.
Elston recently switched insurers, and thought she was covered, but she was not.
Elston, who is seven months pregnant, is focused on what she still has.
“It hurts, and it’s a lot of stress right now, but I’m just trying to stay positive and focus on the fact that me and my baby, we're safe,” said Elston.
The community has rallied around her. Other veterinarians have lent her equipment. Friends set up a Gofundme campaign to help Elston buy new equipment.
“Makes me want to cry. So generous … I’m incredibly grateful. It’s heartwarming,” said Elston.
Elston says several of her neighbor's homes were burglarized the same night.
On Wednesday afternoon, deputies confirmed they've made an arrest in connection with the crimes, but the rest of Elston's equipment has yet to be recovered.