NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A woman is crediting the East Nashville Facebook page and an alert neighbor for recovering her stolen car.
The car was stolen off Fatherland Street overnight on Dec. 22.
Allison Gower told News 2 they made the discovery as her husband was leaving for work around 4:45 a.m.
“He walked out the door and bleary-eyed as you would be, he was looking for the car,” she said. “He takes a minute and realizes the car is missing. He comes inside and I say, ‘What is going on?’ And he says, ‘Honey I think the car is gone’.”
Their 2009 Subaru Outback Empreza Sport wasn’t there.
“We did feel violated but also feeling the reality that it could be so much worse,” she said. “But absolutely feeling violated that our car was missing.”
Gower reported her car stolen to Metro police that morning. She also posted about it to her Facebook page and to the East Nashville Facebook Page, including a picture of her car.
“There are always a lot of people out there who are trying to watch your back,” she said. “People were really reaching out to us very sincerely and telling us they really felt bad for us.”
One of the people who saw Gower’s posts was Lydia Holman. She was heading home after work on Monday night when she decided to stop at the Inglewood Kroger on Gallatin Pike.
“I wanted some gummy bears and I stopped by,” she said. “My brother-in-law has the exact same car, so it just stuck with me in my memory because he had a Subaru.”
However, the Subaru that Holman was looking at didn’t have a kayak rack on top of it like Gowers’.
It also had a racing strip painted on the roof of the car and down the hood.–but the paint job was a red flag.
“It was a badly painted strip, so to me it seemed like it must have been a stolen car,” Holman said. “I just figured no real Subaru owner would put that on their car.”
Holman was right. She snapped some pictures of the car and sent them to Gower.
Gower saw the pictures Tuesday morning and was shocked to see her car with the racing stripe.
She called Metro police and they found her car still parked at the Kroger in Inglewood.
“The car was locked and parked near the gas pumps,” Gower said. “We went to get the car this morning and I used my keys to get into it.”
According to Gower, police found marijuana remnants and a backpack with a laptop inside of it. The car thieves also painted the wheels of her car black in an effort to further disguise it.
“My heart kind of dropped when I saw it was my car,” Gower said.
She told News 2 her car was left unlocked when it was stolen, and she is almost sure the thieves found a valet key mistakenly left in the glove box.
She had this advice for others.
“Lock your car,” she said. “Also, if you have a valet key for your car, make sure to take it out of your car.”
In fact, Metro police reported in their latest Park Smart Report that 82 percent (40 out of 49) of automobiles taken in Nashville during the week of Dece. 11 to Dec. 17 were taken with keys left inside them or available to thieves.
Gower said the outpouring of support both from when her car was stolen and since it’s been recovered is amazing.
“I am so thankful. On the East Nashville Facebook page someone reached out and said they have a free kayak rack if I want it, and someone said, ‘Hey let’s get this girl a vinyl racing stripe,’” she said.
And as for the new racing stripe, Gower is still deciding what to do.
“It is a little boomerang effect, and I guess like a boomerang it came back a little differently but maybe that’s the story of East Nashville,” she said.
Metro police told Gower they believe her car had been in the Kroger parking lot for at least a day.
If you have any information about who stole her car, call Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.
News 2 is committed to tracking crime across Middle Tennessee. Visit wkrn.com/crimetracker for more.