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Christmas miracle: Woman who helped find stolen hot rod pays reward money forward

Posted at 5:32 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 19:35:04-05

A story that aired on FOX 13 last week helped locate a rolling piece of history for a Tooele family that was stolen.

“Yep, we call it Old Red. They drove it everywhere, so it really had a lot of family history built in,” said hot rod owner Jeff of Tooele.
The bright red Dodge truck from the 1950s is back in its rightful owner’s possession after being stolen two weeks ago. The family treasure dubbed "Old Red" almost didn’t make it home.

“It was heartbreaking just because of everything we wanted to do with it,” said Jeff.

After being worked on at Ekins Garage for two years, someone stole Old Red along with a trailer the night before owner Derek Ekins was set to deliver the truck to his customer, Jeff.

“We always knew it was going to come back, until we didn’t. That was scary. We didn’t know if somebody wanted it for parts, we didn’t know why they wanted it,” said Jeff.

FOX 13 first reported about the stolen truck and trailer last week. That led to a woman seeing our story, and then spotting the trailer in the parking lot of her South Jordan hotel on Christmas Day.

She called police, who then called Derek. He says he was able to get the truck home to Jeff on Christmas Day, which was a true Christmas miracle.

READ: West Jordan garage finds stolen hot rod

“We were hoping someone was going to do the right thing, thank goodness they did, prayers answered,” said Jeff.

The woman who located the trailer prefers to stay anonymous, but tells FOX13 that instead of keeping the $1000 reward for herself, she wants to pay it forward.

“We offered it to her, and she said she didn’t do it for that reason but she’s going to donate it to a family that needs it more than her,” said Derek.

She plans to donate it to a Moab family who lost everything in a house fire in November.

Ekins Garage was inspired to create their own fundraiser to add to this effort.

They now have over $2600 to give to that family. They say if you’d like to donate to help the Moab family, you can Venmo Derek @ekinsgarage.

No arrests have been made yet in this case, but West Jordan police are investigating if some evidence could tie them to a suspect through DNA.