Denver man carjacked with livelihood in the backseat: Family gives plea for help

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DENVER (KDVR) — It’s been more than two weeks since 28-year-old Chase Austin was carjacked outside his apartment in the Denver Tech Center. 

On Dec. 15 around 1:30 a.m., Austin was returning from a commercial jobsite and packing up his four-door, navy blue F-150 for a job the next day. Austin put all of his tools into his truck.

“The cherry on top of this situation was all his work stuff being in the back, because it never is,” said Ashleigh Mientkewicz, Austin’s girlfriend. “It’s never all in the back of it.”

The timing couldn’t have been worse. According to Austin, three people approached him and asked for a ride down the street, since it was a cold and snowy night. Austin agreed and pulled out his keys.

“I opened up my door and they snatched my keys out my hand and forced me out of the doorway,” said Austin. “The other two were on the other side and jumped in, the man jumped in the driver seat and locked me out.”

In addition to the $8,000 worth of tools inside the truck, Austin also had his phone, wallet, and winter clothes. Austin was suddenly left with nothing.

“I basically built my business around my truck because I was able to carry around all the tools that I needed to do the multiple trades that I do,” said Austin. 

Mientkewicz and Austin have been together 10 years and have a 5-month-old baby, Oakley. Without a truck and tools, the couple is worried they won’t be able to pay the bills.

“It’s hard to afford an apartment let alone, car payments, insurance and everything else,” said Mientkewicz.

Police haven’t spotted the truck since the carjacking but Austin said he noticed the suspects tried to use his debit card at several gas stations, including one near Thornton. 

The pickup has a silver metal bumper and is missing its front license plate. There’s slight bumper damage where the front license plate would be. At the time the truck was stolen, it had a topper and ladders on top. The license plate is ECO 378.

Anyone who thinks they may have seen the truck is asked to call police.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Austin replace his tools and truck.

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