Created: 12/24/2013 5:16 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Christmas came early for an Albuquerque family Tuesday, just days after they were hit by a crime that rocked their household.
The Blea family’s van was stolen right out of their driveway last week. A good Samaritan helped them find it and now, another kind stranger surprised them with Christmas gifts – and a car seat like the one that was stolen.
“It's heartwarming. There's a lot of good people out there. A lot of really good people. It's just been great. Good Christmas,” Robert Blea said.
His family’s only ride – a van spray-painted with Highland Hornet pride – was stolen last week. Someone who saw their plea for help on Craigslist tipped them off to where the van was parked. They got the van back, but the car seat and Christmas presents that had been inside were missing. KOB Eyewitness News 4 reported the story Friday, and viewer Nicole Kofer saw it.
“It just kind of tore at my heart and kind of felt close to home,” Kofer said. “I kind of had my issues when I was growing up as well and people came to help me so I just thought I'd turn around and help someone else.”
She and some friends got together and bought a new car seat and gifts for the nine children whose presents were stolen.
The alleged thief is still on the loose, but Blea says Kofer’s kindness -- and that of the firefighters and police officers who got his van up and running again – restore his faith in people.
Police say there are no solid leads on who stole the van. They did find fingerprints on the door – Blea’s and another person’s. They hope those could help lead to the culprit.