SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Pete Hansen of Sioux Falls is looking for a used vehicle to replace the one accidentally crushed by the scrap yard. It all started when thieves stole the full-size SUV from a storage area.

The 2004 GMC Yukon served Hansen’s family well for many years. First as the family vehicle, then as Hansen’s kids came of driving age, it was the first vehicle they would drive, then pass it on to the next. Maddy was first, then Oscar got the keys and it became his first vehicle. Unfortunately, Ira and Archer will miss out on the Yukon because this is what the 5,000-pound vehicle looks like now.

Unknown to Hansen, the Yukon had been stolen from its storage place at the fairgrounds.

“I had the keys, so it had to have been hot-wired and broken into,” he said.

Hansen runs Groove Inc. and keeps several vehicles and trailers in storage at the fairgrounds. About a month ago, he discovered the Yukon was missing, so he filed a police report.

“The police do all the investigations and find out on May 1, Eastgate Towing had already acquired the title for my vehicle from the county and then had it towed to the scrap yard, and it was crushed,” said Hansen.

It was just an unfortunate series of events that led to the demise of the trusty Yukon. Hansen doesn’t blame Eastgate Towing, they followed procedure and did try to send a registered letter to his address.

“I was out of town during the three attempts that they tried to send it, I ended up checking on the card once I got back, it had already been returned to sender, I could not read who it was from and so I just kind of left it there,” he said.

Never suspecting it was concerning his missing vehicle, so when he eventually found out his truck was crushed…

“Then I was crushed because it was actually a really nice vehicle for our kids,” he said. “When I look at pictures of what I submitted for the police report, it’s a little bit depressing.”

The Yukon may be gone, but memories including, the first days of school, family trips, and the infamous Nerf gun battles will always be with the Hansen family.

There is some good news. Hansen’s insurance agent had talked him into getting storage insurance, which should cover the cost of a replacement vehicle for the two youngest kids to drive.