NORTHGLENN, Colo. — It's been a difficult couple of months for Denise Herrera and her family. It all started on an icy November morning. Denise's husband started the Jeep, turned to help his boys and as he turned, he found a man stealing the family ride.
"In that moment, the guy got in the car. He got to see him from behind jumping in the Jeep and took off that way," Denise Herrera said.
The Herrera's went a month without their Jeep. Until one day in mid-December, when Herrera was walking into a Denver bank at Downing St. and Evans Avenue.
"I see my car and it was parked in front of a house," Herrera said.
She called police, then a locksmith, and drove the Jeep home to the Highland Way apartment complex. The Jeep had damage to the passenger side and one license plate was stolen, but it was back in the hands of its owners — just not for long.
"I just couldn’t believe I found the car and within days it was gone again," said Herrera.
The license plates were expired before the Jeep was stolen. The towing company assigned to the apartment complex placed a warning on the vehicle saying it would be towed in 48 hours if the plates were not renewed. Herrera was unable to do it in that time frame.
Highland Way's manager said residents can have management place vehicles on a "do not tow" list. Herrera said she didn't call because she didn't know that was an option.
Two days later, the towing company came back. This time, they called police because the plates, not the car, came back stolen and the Jeep was towed.
Herrera said she was unable to afford to get it out of impound so it sits there, racking up a sizable bill.
"I’m guessing it’s a little over $1,000. If anything, probably like $1,200," Herrera believes. "You know, I have two kids I have to look out for. I mean, it’s not easy at all."
While the bills continue to mount, Herrera still had no idea who the person was that started it all, until this past weekend. The City of Denver unintentionally delivered a clue.
"I’m opening up my mail, I come across a ticket. It was a speeding ticket," Herrera explained.
The ticket clearly showing a man and woman inside the Herrera's Jeep.
"I said look, I found the thieves," Herrera continues, "they’re in the Jeep, they are driving the Jeep."
Northglenn Police Department officials said no arrests were made but they are investigating.