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Woman's Stolen Car Contained 10 Years Of Research On Biological Parents Who Gave Her Up At Birth

PASADENA (CBSLA) - A woman whose car was stolen last Thursday outside of a Mattress Firm location in Pasadena not only lost her vehicle, but 10 years worth of documents, letters and photographs of her biological parents who gave her up for adoption at birth.

Michela, who asked that only her first name be used, said she lent her black 2013 c300 Mercedes to her boyfriend for his first day of work at the Mattress Firm store. He parked the vehicle right in front of the store. It was stolen at approximately 12:45 p.m.

Stolen Car #2
Victim's vehicle was a 2013 Mercedes c300 like the car pictured here. It was stolen on June 11, 2021.

She told CBSLA's Jake Reiner that she knew something was wrong when she started getting alerts on her phone that someone was trying to use her credit and debit cards at a nearby Pasadena Marshalls.

"I saw notifications from my debit cards and credit cards that were attempting to go through. None of them did actually go through because fortunately the first card that he used, it's like my spare card, so there's nothing on it," Michela said.

Next, she said she started trying to reach her boyfriend to see if he might be trying to use her card at the Marshalls.

"He looked outside and he called me almost in tears, like 'Oh my gosh, your car is not there,'" she said.

According to Michela, there was a spare key inside the vehicle that may have been used to steal the car, though how the thief got into her car in the first place is still a mystery. She also admits that leaving her wallet and family documents inside her car was a mistake.

"Honestly, I was kind of mad at first, just the initial reaction. I was like upset. I was heartbroken," she said. "Honestly, anxious because I've never been in a situation like this before. You never know what someone might have that means something to them."

Michela explained that she was adopted at birth and all of the information that she'd collected on them over the last ten years was in a folder, in the car.

"There were pictures, handwritten letters from the '90s, information on their health," she said.

According to Michela, she hadn't been searching for her birth parents in hopes of locating them, but that she'd been gathering information on them and thinking about where to go from that point. If they had Facebook accounts, she said she might like to look at them a little bit, and added that losing the pictures probably stings the most.

"They were pictures of my birth mom, holding me as like a newborn baby, so that was important to me," she said.

As for her boyfriend, Michela said he was really embarrassed. He had to leave work on his first day and help officers search for the car in the heat, all while wearing a business suit.

The car, Michela explained, is replaceable. She said she could save up and get a new car or Uber for the time being, but that it's not the most important thing.

"Obviously, everyone would be upset if their car was stolen, but to me the paperwork is just so sentimental and irreplaceable. Like I said, I just won't be able to get those back."

Police have a surveillance photo of the suspect who stole the vehicle, but said they weren't releasing it, adding that it's too grainy to identify the person.

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