SHORELINE, Wash. - A grieving widow is asking for the public's help in identifying the person who stole her husband's work truck, which led him to chase the thief and ultimately crash. Her husband did not survive.
Police say 52-year-old Benigno Carpinteiro crashed his SUV into a tree while tracking down a man from Shoreline to 15 Ave in Ballard on June 10.
Carpinteiro was a father of two girls: a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old.
His wife, Jeannette Bustamante Dubon, said she’s staying strong for her daughters, but now she faces the harsh reality of raising her daughters alone, without their father.
"My daughters used to say he was a strong man, he could and would do anything for them," she told FOX 13 in Spanish.
Now, all they have are memories of his laughter and the loving father that Carpinteiro was.
She said the family moved into their home in Shoreline at the beginning of June. It was an area that made Carpinteiro happy and brought him peace, because it was a calm neighborhood.
Dubon says everything changed in a second.
As Carpinteiro was getting ready to leave for work in the early morning of June 10, a strange man was seen on a home surveillance footage walking in their neighborhood between 4 and 5 a.m.
Carpinteiro was preoccupied with moving all four vehicles out of his driveway so they could continue to work on a fence.
During that time, he left his car running. The man was seen on surveillance footage rattling the handle before realizing the truck was unlocked, and sped off with thousands of dollars worth of tools inside.
Carpinteiro backed hopped in his Nissan ExTerra and chased after the thief.
Dubon told FOX 13 that it was likely his adrenaline running, since those were not the actions of the man she's been married to for 12 years.
She said Carpinteiro was a firm believer that things were just that-- material.
Still, Carpinteiro chased the thief for 20 minutes before he ultimately crashed his car, killing him.
His stolen work truck still hasn't been located.
"You ruined something beautiful, you shattered our dreams, what you took from us is nothing, compared to what you stole," Dubon said of the person who stole the truck.
Photo provided by the family
She wants the man responsible for the theft and breaking up her family to be held accountable for his actions.
She’s now asking for neighbors in both communities to look through their surveillance cameras for a man who appears to be wearing jeans, a black and red hoodie and carrying a backpack around 4 and 5 a.m. If you see him on your videos, you are encouraged to contact police.
Dubon says her husband’s legacy and dreams will live on.
His funeral services are planned for June 27.
FOX 13 has reached out to Shoreline Police and the King County Sheriff's Office, who say they’re looking into the theft and the investigation is ongoing.
We’re currently waiting to hear back from Seattle Police, who’s investigating the crash.
KCSO Sergeant Corbett Ford says they’re concerned with the alarming frequency of people taking matters into their own hands.
"It's natural human response to try to stop somebody from taking something that's yours, or to interrupt if you come across that, but we definitely encourage people not to pursue that issue," Ford said "We want people to call 911, we want people to be good witnesses."
They do not recommend you try to handle situations on your own