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Classic car stolen from deployed Augusta service member

News 12 First at Five, Friday June 10, 2011

HEPHZIBAH, Ga.---Sometimes a car Is more than just a car, sometimes it holds special meaning.

One Hephzibah family is hoping you know something after one of their classic cars is stolen out of their driveway. The car is worth a lot of money, but for this family the memories it holds are worth even more.

"I keep pinching myself and saying it hasn't happened," says Tina Viley.

Tina recalls the moment she found out her late husband's 1973 Dodge Challenger had been stolen from her daughter's driveway.

"I felt like somebody had kicked me in my chest," adds Tina.

When Tina's husband Michael Viley died of cancer in 2008, he left his two prized possessions, two classic muscle cars to each of his children, Mike and Evelyn.

"The sentimental value on these cars is immeasurable. I mean, they mean everything to us. Some would say it's just a car, but my husbands hands were all over that car," cries Tina.

The 1973 Plymouth Roadrunner is now the only thing left of their father's.

"Evelyn feels like its the last piece of daddy's she's got," Tina says.

Evelyn Farmer is in the U.S. Navy and has been stationed in Bahrain with her family for about a year. Until last week, the Challenger sat in her driveway in the Woodlake neighborhood untouched.

"We drive by and check the car regularly, the neighbors watch it and stuff. And just like that, they said they were in and out in ten minutes," explains Tina.

Just like that, the car was gone. "This knocked us off our feet," she says.

For Tina and her family it's not at all about the money, it's only about the memories they fear they'll never get back. "I've got pictures standing next to this car at the age of 19. My husband and I, we collected and rebuilt and sold and showed muscle cars... It was his passion. I think he loved these cars more than he loved me," laughs Tina.

Tina says her daughter and other deployed service members like her, don't deserve to deal with thieves back home.

"She's over there serving and protecting us, can't we serve and protect her here?" She asks. "Shame on you men. God don't like ugly."

Tina's daughter, Evelyn, is scheduled to return home from Bahrain next week. She was already planning to put the car in storage, since the Navy was re-locating her to the West Coast.

If you have any information about the stolen car, call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at (706) 821-1080.


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