Stealing a Tiny House

I’m a bit interested in the Tiny House movement, mostly as an extreme example of the kind of downsizing I’ve done from Rochester to my present home in Seattle. Nine hundred square feet was the smallest apartment I lived in — quite doable although I’m happy to have more space in my current home. Tiny houses are usually 100-400 square feet, and they are often on trailers with wheels to get them to their intended sites. Most urban areas, Seattle included, don’t allow tiny houses to be parked just anywhere. There is some experimentation with tiny house communities as a solution to homelessness, but such tiny houses are grouped together and often include supportive services.

Tiny house advocates are often those who want to live in an environmentally neutral way, and see such spartan living as an antidote to our materially obsessed culture.

Meghan Panu, a Missouri resident, fits into this group. She did much of the work on her tiny house herself, and was planning to move in this coming spring. Then her tiny house disappeared, evidently pulled away by thieves in a pickup truck.

People steal all kinds of things, but stealing a tiny house seems pretty low to me.

Panu enlisted social media for help in finding the tiny house, and she was lucky. A tip sent detectives about 30 miles away from where the house was first stolen. A towing company has volunteered to return it to Panu for free.

Those of us who live in houses know that all kinds of things can happen to them, most of which cost money. Old houses need constant attention. Newer houses develop things like settling cracks. We can even lose our houses through disaster, such as a catastrophic fire or tornado.

But nobody thinks of a house disappearing down the street. — until now anyway. Panu is lucky the tiny house wasn’t towed to some random remote area, where the chances of it being spotted would have been low.

Panu didn’t find out who stole her house, but she has it back. Presumably she’ll now do something to stake it to the ground, now that she knows how mobile a tiny house really is.

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