[UPDATE 12:06 p.m.] Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Tow Truck Stolen at Gunpoint This Morning

Pink breast cancer awareness truck

Buddy’s Pink Breast Cancer Awareness truck as shown on their website.

Yesterday evening, a driver for Buddy’s Auto Center went to Orleans driving this distinctive pink breast cancer awareness tow truck shown above. On the way back about 3:45 a.m. with a vehicle in tow, he and a passenger saw a chainsaw in the middle of the road. They stopped to remove it.

“[T]hat is when 2 men with guns came out of the bushes …and made him and passenger exit the vehicle and took it and the tow,” explained the driver’s girlfriend, Stacy Schmidt. “The robbers took his work and personal phone but his passenger had a phone so…they called for help.”

The California Highway Patrol is searching for the pink truck and for the towed vehicle–a truck and a trailer with two snow vehicles on the back. If you have any information, please contact them at (707) 822-5981.

UPDATE 11:25 a.m.: The tow truck and pickup have been found. The tow truck was damaged badly by fire. The Dodge Ram was singed. The trailer with the snow vehicles is still missing. We’re attempting to find more info.

UPDATE 12:06 p.m.:

[Photo by Nehwan Nelson]

According to Robert Rahall, who was the passenger in the tow truck and the owner of the Dodge truck with snowmobiles, he was coming back from a trip when he hit some rocks on Hwy 96 and damaged his truck.

The tow truck driver arrived and put Rahall’s truck containing his dogs on the flatbed and pulled the trailer. Eventually, they saw a chainsaw sitting beside the road. When they pulled over and the tow truck driver got out of the vehicle, two masked men carrying “rifles with silencers” came out of the bushes.

[Photo by Nehwan Nelson]

“One pulled me out of the truck,” said Rahall.  During the altercation with the tow truck driver, one of the masked men shot his rifle. Rahall used the confusion to flee. He was able to use his phone to call for law enforcement help.

The masked men took the tow truck and the contents including the dogs. “There was no money, no cash, no drugs,” said Rahall. He doesn’t know why his vehicle was apparently targeted.

The tow truck carrying the Dodge Ram was eventually located out Mill Creek Road, Rahall said. “It looks like the [tow truck engine] overheated” and caught on fire by itself. The dogs were left in the truck while the suspects fled, Rahall said. Fortunately, the truck wasn’t harmed much and the dogs are okay.

We are requesting more information from the California Highway Patrol.


  • Laytonville Rock


  • But if only the “robbers” had a safe place to go and shoot/take opioids this wouldn’t have happened.

    • Justwanttoheartheendofthestory

      Thank you, I was just thinking that. And, wasn’t legalization of marijuana supposed to make all crime disappear in a puff of cannabis smoke? Do you think we might have been lied to?

      • Politicians? Lying? Better be careful, soon spreading that sort of “fake news” will be illegal in California!

        But seriously, glad to hear dogs are safe. Cars can be replaced, friends can’t. Hope the people who did this get caught and justice is done.

      • This has absolutely nothing to do with marijuana. Good people use marijuana bad people use marijuana. Just as good people take ibuprofen and bad people take ibuprofen. Get real.

        • Justwanttoheartheendofthestory

          How do you know this has nothing to do with marijuana? Do you know the perps? Or do you just say that each and every time a crime is committed in order to justify your own choices.

  • Some people regard crime as a ‘cancer’ on society. The ‘cure’, however, is debated.

  • Only in Humboldt County.

  • Any city around having a parade this weekend?? Looks like who ever did this, knew exactly when that truck was coming by, and knew what they had on the back. An easy spot from the air.

  • Hope those brahs get busted. Talk about low-hanging fruit.

  • Ok, Let me see, how silly would it ever be to try and hide a “Beautiful Tow Truck, Pink nevertheless” Dumb Criminals indeed….. Wait!! ah ha, they wanted the snow vehicles. They must have intercepted the call for the tow in the first place and knew the route that would be taken. The Tow Truck will show up but I am sure the other vehicles are long gone in the hills by now. 🙁

    • Good thinking! I hope you’re right that at least part of the heist is abandoned. Taking the phones is so low…talk about a hassle for the victim. If i were ever this sort of thief, i would just take the battery. Though i would never…

  • Omigod, how will anyone ever find a vehicle so drab and commonplace as this?
    Not–this is the blingiest rig on the road!
    There’s something really wrong with this… it can’t be a joke, the consequences are too serious. Unless it’s a prank to show how easy it is to get away with crime in Humboldt County.

    • Sleepy Alligator

      “Blingiest”!!!!!! The truck is pink because a portion of any profits it makes are donated to breast cancer research! FYI pink has been the designated symbol for things related to breast cancer for well over a decade now. These thieves better be looking over their shoulders because karma will come knockin.

      • Blingy means flashy, ostentatious, elaborate… i guess i used the word wrong, i meant flashy, bright, showy. I wasn’t saying there was anything wrong with it! Gosh. Just that it’s hard to miss. Would you agree?
        I’ve noticed the pink color/breast cancer connection, too. Thank you for reminding us all. I applaud Buddy’s for the Pink support.

  • Even when they are caught it will take a month for the DA to put out a warrant for them I. Still waiting for my son to get a warrent for his arrest .he is running amok I call the DA every day .Still no warrent ,and the basturd.tryed to kill me .won’t be voting for the current DA next election .because the DA currently is shit .hope i get some good.news today when I call them ,so that being said the guys who stole the pink truck are laughing all the way to the drug dealers house.

    • That stinks, at least now we know why the DA office is not working well.
      Thanks board of supes! Once one of your places gets broken into or one of your friends murdered, then i bet you’ll change your tune about the DA office hire.
      Absolutely no money from our new taxes should go to the supes, they make enuf and are screwing us all over by making it more dangerous to live hear. Call your stupe, i mean supe.

    • If you’re really complaining about being threatened by your own son, your real beef is with the person in the mirror or your sex education teacher, not the DA. But as to the current situation: you might check with law enforcement to see if a report has actually made it to the DA’s Office…

    • Your son tried to kill you?! wtf

  • Never brake for chainsaws! Duh!

  • I’m pretty sure it was stolen to give some one a ” hookup” for that safe injection site

  • If we get a vote on DA, why do we not get a vote on Public Defender? Our supervisors have really blown it.

  • Maybe the car they were towing had something of value in it that these guys wanted.
    Hopefully some folks find them first and take care of it. Taking them to jail would be a waste of tax money seeing how bad the DA office is right now.

  • I just have to put it out there, that truck gave me the creeps. Had the most twisted slogan on the back with a kid saying once I get boobies maybe we can stop cancer or something. Seemed odd to use a slang word boobies for something that is a serious issue and should not be objectified. Just my 3.1 cents

    • Sleepy Alligator

      Yeah well that slogan and that pink have raised more money for breast cancer research than your 3.1cents ever will. I haven’t seen the slogan myself but from what you say it says it makes sense to me, considering it’s children who use the word “boobies”. Or adults talking to children.

    • It simply said ” find a cure… before I grow boobs
      Either way it isn’t weird or twisted in any way, boobs or boobies

  • Rifles with silencers eh? That is really strange

  • Chain saw in the road,men with guns come from bushes? Is this a movie set.?I’m shaking my head,this could really only happen here. I’m so sorry for the loss of all the vehicle’s probably some jealous asshole. SAD not only for the loss,but why would anyone with a brain want to visit our gorgeous Humboldt any more?? My family who used to come here to get away from the heat won’t come here now. We’ll so much for tourists money.WE NEED HELP

  • “It looks like the [tow truck engine] overheated and caught on fire by itself.” why do I have a very, very hard time believing that?

    Hopefully Rick had it fully insured…

  • “Rifle with silencers”, “masked men”, who was high?

  • Sleepy alligator I call the DA Office daily yes they have it in the pile on maggy Fleming desk I talked to victum witness ,and they were great very informative, and helpful there are some good things they have counseling and restitution I have a protection order now. But still no charges its pending they say .

  • If they stole cell phones has anyone tried to track them androids can be tracked thru the owners google account and I believe something similar with the I phones

  • Something`s a bit fishy here. A truck engine — or any engine in a modern vehicle — overheating and starting on fire is so rare as to be non-existent. How did it overheat? Only a lack of water or cooling system problem — stuck thermostat or broken water pump belt — will cause overheating. Even if this did happen, I think the engine would seize up and stop before a fire started.

    Almost certainly this was set on fire deliberately. So, why the story about overheating and catching on fire?

    • It didn’t and if it did it would have just died it has a safety on it

    • I think it was obviously torched to cover up incriminating evidence, maybe one of them didn’t have gloves, I don’t know why they would say it caught fire by itself.

  • MY opinion, they needed snowmobiles to get to their grow or to rip someone grow off.

  • Overheated my butt!! Somebody set that!

  • This tow truck belonged to our family friend’s brother. This time last year, someone had broken into their tow yard and stoled tools. Then a month or so later, their mom died. Here it is a year later and they just did up this truck. Now it sits in ash. Just dam sad people who are Ignorant would do this. Especially to a truck that had Meaning to it. Shame on Them!¡ They need to target the Rich, Not the hard working, blue collar little business man.

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