NORFOLK, Va. – An apparent crime of opportunity still has Angela Morgan shaken, but thankfully there's a happy ending for the Norfolk resident.
“It’s very traumatic for me,” Morgan said.
Morgan said on President’s Day, February 21, she brought her car to BJ’s Tire Sales & Service auto shop in Norfolk to have her tires checked. Minutes later as a tech was working on it, she said it was gone.
“As soon as I gave him my keys, five minutes later he comes back in very calmly and tells me that someone just drove off in my car,” she said. “I thought for sure he was kidding.”
But this was no laughing matter.
“I jumped up and ran outside, and my car was nowhere to be seen,” said Morgan.
Morgan said her 2011 Toyota Avalon was stolen.
“He [the technician] said, ‘I was checking the tires, and somebody jumped in and drove off,’” she said.
She filled out a police report, but a week later, there is still no word on her car.
“I just feel violated; I had all my things in my car,” Morgan said. “They had my keys.”
Morgan had to change the locks on her Norfolk home, but the worst part is she said that car was special to her; it was a gift from her late husband Roland.
“This was the last gift he was ever able to give me, my husband,” Morgan said.
Morgan’s Avalon has personalized plates, “AMorgan,” and she was hopeful would be found before it’s too late.
The stress of not knowing where her car was took a toll. She said the shop isn’t taking any responsibility for what happened.
“Nobody cares,” she said. “I’m not getting any answers. Nobody’s interested.”
Morgan said she was devastated.
“It’s the only car that I have, and it’s paid for,” she said. “Like I said, I’m a widow and I have things budgeted out, and a car payment isn’t in my budget.”
News 3 spoke with BJ's Communications Manager Kyle Byrnes, who said surveillance video from that day has been handed over to police. He told News 3 it appears a theft did happen and said he couldn’t comment any further because of the ongoing investigation.
Less than 24 hours after this story aired, Morgan told News 3 a Portsmouth Police officer called her around 6:30 p.m. Thursday. He said a woman saw the story on the news and then spotted the car, which was sitting in a parking lot on Crabapple Street in Portsmouth.
The woman called police, who then called Morgan. Police had the car towed to an impound lot in Portsmouth so it would be safe until Morgan can pick it up, have it re-keyed and checked out before she drives it off the lot. Authorities told Morgan it would be safer in the lot rather at her home since the thief has her information and address.
Morgan said she fears for her safety, however she feels like she got small a piece of herself back and couldn’t be more grateful.
“When I got the phone call from the police officer, my heart was just so full of joy and thankfulness,” said Morgan. “I just want to thank Annie, Anthony and the Channel 3 News family because I know they were instrumental in me finding my car, and I’m just so thankful. Thank you so very much.”
Morgan said the car was paid off, so she’s happy she doesn’t have to buy a new one. She said she’s now going to change the locks and keys.