Single mom who wrote open letter to car thief gets happy ending

Meet Stephanie Irvine.

She's the single mom of two from Utica who penned a heartbreaking Dear John to the motor city car thief who stole her 1998 Dodge Neon.

It happened last Tuesday when stephanie drove her two daughters to midtown Detroit. One of them checked out a performance at Great Lakes Coffee. The other went to Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Public Library and the Detroit Historical Museum with mom.

"When we were walking around I just thought the city is so pretty and there are so many things you can do here," she said.

They parked their car on Cass just north of Alexandrine.

"I went past the car walked past the car about 10, 15, 20 times," she said.

But when their day in Detroit was over,  the car was gone. Stolen in broad daylight.

"At first I thought you have to be kidding me," Stephanie said. "I know what's it like to not have things to want things. Like we go without things all the time but it doesn't make it okay to take things.

"I was angry that that's all I had and somebody took it."

Crushed and embarrassed, Stephanie wrote this letter and sent it to FOX 2 hoping the car thief would see it and maybe have a change of heart.

"Dear Person(s) who stole my car,

 I'm not sure what your situation is but let me share a little about mine. I am a single mother of two children. It took me over a year to pay $1,200 for that ugly, old, beat up Neon you took from me. I moved my children and myself back into my mother's house not too long ago because I couldn't afford living on my own. 

We all have to share one room. I finally got a halfway decent paying job and was going to start school in the fall. I needed that car more than anything. I, myself, have $30 to my name. Replacing that car will cost me dearly. It will deprive my children of simple basic wants and needs. 

I hope that your situation was far worse than mine. I'd like to think you took my car because you needed money to feed your family. I'd like to think that you were so desperate and had no one to turn to. But, in my heart, I know it was a selfish act. You took it simply because you wanted to and you feel you have the right to take what you want. 

The next time you are looking around your once beautiful, thriving city and wonder where it all went wrong take a look in the mirror.....it is YOU that keeps it from being great."


Instead it touched the hearts of the FOX 2 faithful - and she got this call: 

"Hi Stephanie, how are you? This is Mike from Ford Road Motor Sales," said the voice at the other end of the phone. "I was reading your story online yesterday and I think we can help you out." 

Some now willing to step up and donate to Stephanie a new ride.

FOX 2: "What is it like hearing that?"

"It's awesome," Stephanie said. "I don't know what to say like thank you, isn't even enough  ... that people are willing to help."

Police have not tracked Stephanie's Dodge Neon, but she might be okay. Since writing that letter, there are a few people offering to help Stephanie get a new car.
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