Gone in a flash! Juvenile thief steals Denver mom's car, purse, gifts and ID

Car recovered in Aurora, purse still missing
Posted at 6:54 PM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 20:54:54-05

DENVER -- Diana Johnson says Tuesday was the worst day of her young life.

The Denver mom had gone shopping for groceries and a few Christmas gifts late in the day.

When she returned home, she grabbed her 13-month-old son, and a few bags of groceries, and took them inside their apartment at 24th and Downing.

She then went back outside to retrieve the rest of her belongings and was startled to find her silver 2015 Ford Fiesta was gone.

"I was really upset," Johnson told Denver7. "I've only had it for two months and am still making payments."

Johnson said she had to lay down because she started experiencing a panic attack. Then, she called 911.

When asked if she had left her keys in the car, Johnson replied, "No... here are my keys right here."

"I don't know how they started it," she said. "It was parked right out in front and I didn't hear anything."

Late Wednesday morning, the frustrated mom received a mixture of good and bad news.

She said Aurora Police found her car near Colfax and Florence and arrested a suspect.

"They did catch the guy," she said. "Quickly. So he was not smart."

Johnson said police took her car to impound and told her it was going to cost $200 to get it out. "I can't afford that," she said. "My purse is still missing."

Of even more concern than missing cash is the fact that someone else may be in possession of her driver's license and her and her son's social security cards.

"Someone can potentially steal my identity," she said.

Still, she's grateful her car has been found, and grateful that she had the sense to grab her son first before going out to retrieve the other belongings.

Had she let him sleep another minute or two he might have disappeared with the car.

"We could have an Amber Alert on our hands," she said, "and I don't know if I would be physically standing here. I'd be in a hospital somewhere because I would have a breakdown. This boy, my son, is my everything. It's even scary to think about."

Police said the suspect was arrested for Motor Vehicle Theft.

They are not releasing his name or booking photo because he is a juvenile.


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