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.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Teachers at Utah’s largest high school are done taking away cell phones from students. Instead, t...

Erin Cox

No more taking phones from students, Granger High School implementing new policy this fall

Teachers at Utah’s largest high school are done taking away cell phones from students. They’re trying something new in the Fall, and if they’re successful, other schools might do the same.

14 minutes ago

(FILE) An audiologist preforming an a  hearing test. (KSL TV)...

Emma Benson

Listen up! The health consequences of untreated hearing loss

Around 600,000 people in Utah have hearing loss, but many may not realize they do until they're tested and how it can affect their health.

29 minutes ago

the face of a young gorilla...

Larry D. Curtis

Hogle Zoo names newest gorilla in troop

Hogle Zoo has announced that the newest member of its gorilla troop is named Addo.

3 hours ago

UDOT construction crews working on a project in Ogden. (Karah Brackin, KSL TV)...

Karah Brackin

UDOT crews battle heat while working on construction projects

As double-digit temperatures start climbing into the triple digits and breaking records, construction is still happening.

3 hours ago

Jack Walker (left) and Lizzy Walker (right) talk about the many miracles that came together to save...

Eliza Pace

‘I didn’t have a heartbeat for 11 minutes,’ Utah man thankful for miracles that saved his life

A 23-year-old man is thankful to be alive after multiple miracles saved his life when he had a heart attack.

4 hours ago

a red flag waving in front of smokey skies...

Larry D. Curtis

Utah issued its first Red Flag Warning of the year

Low humidity and high winds prompted Utah Fire Info to release its first Red Flag Warning of the year for Utah.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

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