Famed explorer now without life's work after moving truck stolen

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Helen Schreider has traveled the world over many times, but a recent stop in Fresno is leaving her with an unforgettable experience.

Her moving truck was stolen along with her life's work of paintings and artifacts.

Family friend John Ryan said inside the truck, "There was an enormous amount of paintings and she's a noted artist. About 50 paintings were in that truck. So it is just an incredible crazy situation that happened."

Schreider, now 93-years-old, gained fame in the 1950's and 1960's working along side her husband as reporters for National Geographic. They were the first people to travel the length of the Americas through water and land aboard the now famous La Tortuga.

Helen's niece Camille Armstrong said, "She had paintings from that time, and they wrote a book. So all her paintings document her incredible journey."

Friends say she hired movers to drive two Penske trucks from Sante Fe to her new home in the Bay Area. The movers stopped for a night at the Quality Inn in Northeast Fresno. When they woke up in the morning, one of the trucks was gone, a 16-foot Penske truck with the license number 2505209.

Logan Schaffer, one of the movers said, "There was three of us and two trucks. We parked back to back to prevent anybody from opening up the back."

The movers figured the belongings would be safe in the parking lot, but according to them, the hotel's security cameras failed to work that night.

"They were facing our truck, we parked right in front of them," said Schaffer. But the movers say that the hotel told them the camera system was recently updated and "Had not been turned on after they were updated. So there was no surveillance taken of the actual crime."

If you have any information about this crime, you are asked to contact Fresno Police.
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