Car stolen at Thanksgiving is found by a stranger in a ‘Christmas miracle’

Dec 14, 2023, 7:42 PM | Updated: Dec 15, 2023, 6:07 am

TAYLORSVILLE — The only thing worse than having your car stolen is having it happen around the holidays.

Matt and Kristi Hanson loved their 1995 Acura Integra so much that they invested $18,000 in restoring it for their son. But their plans, and car, vanished when it was stolen from a body shop on Nov. 29.

They said one thing that would really be a Christmas miracle and would make their Christmas, is if they were able to find their car.

Travis Christensen saw the story of the stolen car on KSL TV, but nobody could imagine what happened next. On Dec. 6, on a work drive, he spotted the car tucked behind a building in Taylorsville.

“I got a closer look at the car and thought, ‘Man, this really looks like the car,’ and so I was able to go and dig up the KSL article and look at the pictures, and lo and behold, it looked like the car.

“He messaged me,” Kristi Hanson said. “He sent some pictures. I couldn’t believe it. He didn’t want any of our reward money; he was just happy to get our car back.”

Beloved family car stolen in Cottonwood Heights

“It felt really good to be a part of that,” Christensen said. “So they could drive it and enjoy it and continue to make memories with it.”

He knows firsthand what it’s like to have a car stolen, making this experience that much better.

“It’s just really a fun story to be a part of,” he said.

“This is another chapter in our car’s story,” Kristi Hanson said. They plan to pay it forward.

“I think it’s a reminder that we can help people more than we know,” she said.

The Hansons are planning to meet up with Christensen. He didn’t want the reward but he said he wanted to take a picture with the family and their car. Unified Police Department is looking at the case and may have some leads.

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Car stolen at Thanksgiving is found by a stranger in a ‘Christmas miracle’