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Single mother of five uses texts to convince thief to return stolen vehicle

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MISSOURI – A woman in Missouri used text messages to convince a thief to return her stolen van.

She pleaded with the crook to have a heart.

“I was parked probably just by the doors, I was in front, in the middle row,” said Megan Bratten.

When Megan Bratten walked out of K-Mart near 24 Highway and 291, her van was gone.

“An older gentleman was like, are you ok? And I said no, I think my car just got stolen,” Megan said.

It was her work van. The van she uses for her business to provide for her five children.

“I just got angry and then I remembered that phone was in there and I thought let me text them a message and I did,” said Megan.

The first text, understandably so, wasn’t so nice.

“I used some pretty explicit words and I said hey you just stole a single mother of five’s work van,” she said.

Three hours went by, Megan kept texting and then on her final text. She desperately pleaded.

“OMG car thief people can you just give me my van back,” she said.

“And then he text me back and gave me step by step directions where to find the van and I went there with my mom and my dog and the van was there.”

The thief sent Megan this final text which read:

“I do feel bad. My kids needed a meal on the table so that’s what their dad did got them food. I know its wrong but it’s been so hard since I lost my job.”

Megan, said she didn’t have the heart to call police.

“I can really relate on the human level of the struggle of feeling desperate and making poor choices. I can understand how people act out of fear and desperation. What matters in the end he really did the right thing,” Megan said.

Now police say it was very risky for Megan to return to pick up her van without calling police.

They would have gone with her.

And get this, Megan said in one her texts she tried to tell the thieves how bad the van was. She said the van leaked transmission fluid.

When she got the van, there was an empty bottle of transmission fluid in the van where they had filled it up.