Arvada family seeking car stolen just one day after death of their great-grandfather

Posted at 6:32 AM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 08:41:14-05

ARVADA, Colo. — After a week of heartbreak and loss, a senseless crime has caused even more pain for Irene Rael and her family. Her father, 91-year-old Chon Herrera, passed away on Dec. 23 and one day later, on Christmas Eve, her car was stolen.

"Who does that on Christmas Eve?" she asked. "They affected a lot of people — what this person did affected a family."

The car was stolen as Rael's family was moving Herrera's 85-year-old wife Zanaida into their house. Porch footage shows the thief stealing the car just moments after Herrera left the driveway.

"I didn't think anything of it. I didn't notice if there was anybody lurking in the shadows," Rael said. "I still hear the bang of the door, just the the slamming of the door, and it gunning it down the street."

But it is not just the car that she wants back. She said she hopes the car is found so she can retrieve crucial documents from her father's life., including his passport and honorable discharge papers from the military.

"With COVID, we want to be able to to cremate him and give him an honorable burial," she said.

Rael and her family hope if the car is not returned that the thief can at least return the documents.

"When you do something and take from somebody else, you affect them in one way or the other," she said. "You don't know what they're going through. You don't know how much pain or sorrow that they're suffering. That's what I want them to know."

The car is described as a dark gray 2013 Nissan Altima. Call the Arvada Police Department at 720-898-6900 if you have information on where it is.