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Stories of stolen cars don’t always have happy endings, let alone amusing ones. However, one piece of weird car news caught our eye recently, and we thought our readers might enjoy it as well. It’s the tale of a car theft victim whose vehicle was found and returned to her a week later containing some unexpected items. 

An Atlanta woman fell victim to car theft and received love letters in return

A love letter written by John DiMaggio for Marilyn Monroe
A love letter | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Our story begins in Atlanta, where resident Hattie Gelhausen discovered that her car had been stolen from her home one day. Luckily for Gelhausen, she wasn’t without her car for too long. The police found it and returned it to her a week later.

According to Fox5, the car wasn’t in the same shape it had been when Gelhausen lost it. Instead, it was full of an assortment of random items. “All kinds of random stuff, dog bowls, vases, nude drawings. It looks like our car was used in a string of smash and grabs and a joyride until it ran out of gas,” Gelhausen explained. 

One particular set of items found in the car stood out: a remarkable collection of love letters.

What we know about the love letters

Gelhausen didn’t just find a few love letters and telegrams left in her vehicle when it was returned. She found over 100 of them, clearly decades old. 

Unfortunately, it’s not clear who the owner of the letters might be. There are only a few clues, including the fact that they’re addressed to “Barbro” and something resembling “Pony.” The majority of the letters originated in London or Chelsea and are signed by someone named Keith.

Also among the documents that Gelhausen discovered was a photo of an unidentified man the Atlanta resident speculates might be Keith himself. She finds the mysterious man intriguing and endearing, especially after reading so many of the love letters he may have written.

Gelhausen hopes that by getting the word out about her find, their original owner might eventually get them back. She figures that the person must care a great deal about them, given how many of them were saved for so many years. 

Other stolen cars returned after much longer 

Other strange stories about stolen cars have appeared in recent years as well. First, Gelhausen isn’t the only car theft victim to get their ride back with some additional unexpected items. Take the tale of Ron Reolfi, whose 1968 Chevy Camaro was stolen back in the 1980s right from his work parking lot. Although he searched for it for quite some time, he eventually gave it up for lost. Astonishingly, over three decades later, police found the car and returned it to Reolfi. He was astonished to discover that it came complete with a new underside, refurbished from the brakes to the engine. 

Then there’s the mysterious tale of a 1979 Porsche 924 stolen in Medford, Oregon, all the way back in 1991 and disappeared without a trace for decades. It was eventually discovered at the bottom of a ravine in 2017 by a man walking his dog. Strangely, there was no sign of a body in the vehicle, leaving police and others to wonder what could have happened to the thief. 

Adding to the mystery was that the car did not appear to be covered in the moss and mildew that would be expected after so many years of sitting in such a damp environment. People were left to wonder whether the car had been pushed into the ravine more recently. If so, what had happened to it for the previous three decades? The mystery may never be solved. 


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