Last week the 40-foot silver camper went missing from a residential street in Georgetown.
UPDATE (6/29): The trailer has been found. Ahmed tells CHS a police officer found the trailer abandoned on a road in Kitsap County Wednesday morning. The trailer is damaged but towable, Ahmed said. He did not yet know what was left of his inventory. In the meantime, Ahmed is looking for leads on a more permanent and secure place to park his business.
Original report: The missing mobile shop contained the bulk of Ahmed’s meticulously curated collection, including beaver fur hats, bowler hats, walking sticks, Victorian-era coats, two Victrola record players, and countless pieces of Seattle memorabilia and vintage photographs. Sadly, Ahmed said none of it was insured.
“The theme of my trailer was preserving old Seattle,” Ahmed told CHS over the phone while hanging posters in Georgetown about the trailer. “I can’t put a price on it.”
Since closing his namesake steampunk and vintage clothing shop on Olive Way in 2012, Capitol Hill Vaudeville has been a staple of markets at Fremont Solstice, Pride, Punk Rock Flea Market, and the Capitol Hill Block Party. Ahmed said Seattle Police have yet to uncover any leads as to what may have happened to the trailer.
In the days since the trailer went missing, Ahmed has tried to wrap is mind around why someone would steal it. Maybe it had to do with the rainbow flags and gay-themed posters he had up for Pride. Maybe it was the squatters in a nearby house looking to scrap the trailer for parts. Police told him that a known group of car thieves may be responsible. Whatever the reason, Ahmed said he is trying to prepare for the worst.
“I’m trying to forget it but I can’t,” Ahmed said. “I don’t know how I’m going to live or restart.”
Ahmed has lived on Capitol Hill for 35 years and has been a fixture in the city’s vintage and steampunk fashion scenes. In 2006, he opened Capitol Hill Vaudeville on E Olive Way — a shop that would become central to Seattle’s large steampunk scene. When the shop closed in 2012, Ahmed moved his inventory into the Airstream trailer.
Ahmed previously parked the Airstream on the residential streets around Volunteer Park. Last year he said neighbors began to complain that the trailer was blocking their view, so he started seeking out more industrial areas to store the trailer between events. Ahmed said he had been parking the trailer around Georgetown for several months without any problems.
Anyone with information about the trailer (License #: 7937-YQ) should contact 911 or Ferdous Ahmed, at (206) 499-1304.