**UPDATE: Police found the stolen car at an apartment complex near Stella Link and Loop 610 Monday.**
HOUSTON – “It’s like someone gave me a punch in the gut,” says Elaine Plotkin, the mother of a teen who passed away after coming down with Swine Flu.
That was the mother’s reaction after realizing someone had stolen an old car from her driveway. Yes, it’s just a car, but to the Plotkin family, this car was the world.
“This is all that we have left of the car. This is the key to Raymond’s car,” says Elaine, holding up a key while standing in her southwest Houston driveway.
Raymond was Elain’e son. We first told you about Raymond Plotkin when he died of Swine Flu three years ago. The Westbury High School Graduate had just turned 18.
“It was one of the last things that we had of Raymond really,” said Ronnie Plotkin, the boy’s father.
That is why the Plotkins are taking the car’s theft so hard.
“Although the car had value, what is immeasurable is the emotional value that an amount can’t be placed on that car,” said Elaine.
What makes this hurt even more is that it was stolen on the third anniversary of his death.
“You know when you steal something, you do not know what the actual meaning of what you’re stealing is to somebody else,” says Ronnie. “To you it might be worth a thousand or two thousand dollars, but to me it’s all the memories I have of an 18-year-old son.”
The family tells KHOU 11 News the black Honda wasn’t worth a whole lot of money. It had more than a hundred thousand miles, and was 12 years old.
They’re mad, but they are willing to forgive. They’d do anything to get back one of the best memories they have of a son whose life was cut short.
“I would like the car back,” says Elaine. “I’d like the car back. Put it back at the side of the house where it was. No questions asked.”
Elaine says she looks out her kitchen window every morning hoping Raymond’s car reappears.
The family has set up the “Take One For Raymond Foundation,” which encourages people to take flu shots.