News 8 viewer gives car theft victim a new ride

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A woman whose car was stolen and totaled now has a new ride thanks to a WOOD TV8 viewer who saw her story and decided to help.

Barbara Brown’s car was stolen over the weekend from a gas station on Grand Rapids’ West Side. Shortly thereafter, it was crashed in Wyoming.

Brown, who only carried property damage insurance, ended up without a ride and out of luck.

Tuesday, News 8 aired her story and her plea for help.

Andrew Heykoop, owner of Eagle Towing in Muskegon County, saw the story. Because Heykoop also owns a car lot, he was able to offer help immediately. He decided to give Brown a used car from his lot.

A car gifted to a woman by a News 8 viewer after hers was stolen and destroyed. (Nov. 20, 2019)

Heykoop said he was moved by the fact that Brown has disabilities and by her concern that not having a car would hamper her from getting to medical appointments.

“I hope this changes her life where she can get back and forth from the doctor’s appointments that she needs to get to,” Heykoop said. “That she can continue her life without being disrupted from the unfortunate events that happened of her car being stolen.”

Wednesday afternoon, Heykoop delivered the car to Brown’s home. She embraced him immediately, thanking him for his gift.

“There’s a lot of good people out there. That’s what that tells me. There’s a lot of good people that do look and see the needs of others,” Brown said. “Saw the bad side and now here’s part of the good side that people do feel compassion.”

Brown, who said she cried for days after her car was destroyed, was brought to tears again.

“Now I’m crying with happiness,” Brown said. “This is different crying.”

Heykoop said Brown’s reaction to getting the vehicle was nice to see.

“It feels good,” Heykoop said. “It just felt real good to do something positive.”

Police are still investigating the car theft and are looking into whether this theft is linked to other crimes in the area.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!

News 8 Links