Stolen Car Returned To Owner

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Kim Bussard received a call from her husband last Friday with the news police had found her car.

"I said 'Are you sure it's my car?' Because I didn't want to get my hopes up," she said.

But sure enough, it was.

"My in-laws called and are like 'it's your car, you better come down here and get it',"  Bussard said.

Just a week ago, a man walked right up to Bussard's driveway and in a matter of seconds had left with her vehicle.

We aired a story on KOLR 10 and Bussard says it was a viewer who saw it and then called police when they recognized her car.

Only five days later, Bussard had her 2005 Chevy Cobalt back. A vehicle that to her is more than just a means of transportation.

"It was a gift from my mom," she said.  "Her name was Rhonda Ross."

The car was recovered just two days before the anniversary of her mother's passing 5 years ago.

"I was so happy," Bussard said. 

The Cobalt was in good condition with the exception of brake and turning lights being out. But the decal in memory of Bussard's mom was gone. 

"They scraped it all off," she said.

But a friend is already taking care of getting another one put on.

"It's gonna have a saying on there, saying, 'she lived, she laughed, she loved, she left'," Bussard said. "It described her very well because she had a very unique laugh and I certainly miss that."

A happy ending to a frightening moment that is a reflection of an alarming reality in Springfield.

"We have a really bad situation," said Lisa Cox, public affairs officer at Springfield Police.

Springfield police say from January until June of this year more than 600 cars were stolen.

"It's worse now than it ever has been in our history," said Cox. 

The good news is police say 8 times out of 10 cars are recovered. But the bad news is the crime happens all over the city.

Bussard says she's learned her lesson... 

"I'll start locking my door," she said.

And hopes others will do the same.

"Because it can pretty much happen to anyone," she said.

Police believe the man in Bussard's surveillance video is someone who was arrested last week in connection to other vehicle thefts. We have chosen not to identify him at this point as police continue to investigate him in this case. 


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