New car given to single Memphis mom by coworker stolen within hours

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A single Memphis mom was ecstatic when her thoughtful coworker gave her a car. He said he’d noticed her working hard and struggling with transportation. But not even 12 hours after he delivered it to her apartment, someone else stole it.

When Daniele Barnett’s coworker Kavaunjay Braden noticed how many problems her car was giving her, he says he wanted to help out.

“She had been struggling for a minute with her car," said Braden. "She had been having problems with it. She’d come to work and say, 'Oh, my car did this today or my car did that today.'”

So he thought the least he could do was give her a black 1996 Nissan Maxima with a tan interior.

“He brought it out here. My kids, we got in the car and looked at it. It was like, ‘Oh mommy, we love the car,'" said Barnett.

Being a single mother, she says she couldn’t wait to drive her two daughters to their first day of school in the new ride.

But the next morning, the car was no longer parked where they left it in the 1000 block of North Watkins Street.

“I almost cried," she said.

“I couldn’t believe it," said Braden. "For a minute, it seemed like a joke. I was like, 'Okay, no it’s really not gone.'”

Barnett says she parked it outside the complex because she still needed to get an apartment parking permit.

“I never got the chance to drive the car, didn’t get a chance to put it in my name, didn’t get a chance to put insurance on it, nothing," she said.

She says surveillance video from her apartment complex shows the suspects pull up in a different car on the other side of the street and then one of them runs over, breaks into her car, and they both drive off.

Memphis Police are investigating the case and we’re also working to get a hold of that surveillance video.

“You try to be optimistic and say, 'It’ll turn up,' but there’s this little piece in your mind that says, 'It’s gone,'" said Braden. "So, whoever has the car, I hope you enjoy it because you just affected someone’s life who really needed it, three lives who really needed it.”

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH.

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