CHICAGO RIDGE, Ill. (WGN) — An Illinois family is breathing a sigh of relief after a stolen Make-A-Wish gift with sentimental value was returned. Jamie Watson said a red pickup truck, restored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation for her teenage son Jacob who is battling a rare blood disease, was located Tuesday, April 5, after the family received an anonymous tip of the vehicle’s whereabouts.
The family says they called the authorities and the truck was towed back to their residence.
Jacob Watson had wished to restore his grandfather’s pickup after his passing in 2015.
“When he got sick and did pass away, he mentioned he wanted Jake to have it,” Jacob’s mother said.
Someone stole the pickup truck from the parking lot at Wintrust Sports Arena in Bedford Park during a volleyball game on Sunday, April 3.
“It was a rollercoaster of emotions,” Jacob said. “I was pretty down at the beginning. It’s hard to keep hope when you don’t know what’s going on at all.”
Information from an unknown caller restored Jacob’s faith.
“I have no clue how it happened. I don’t understand any part of it,” he said. “I honestly think this is God working his magic and he just wanted me to have my stuff back.”
The recovered truck is a little muddier than Jacob left it, and it’s minus one window, but Jacob’s uncle is working to repair the damage. The teen said his grandfather’s cross, which he kept tucked away and out of sight, will now hang from the truck’s rear-view mirror.
“I’m not sure if they were sending a message or not but that’s the way I’m going to take it,” he said.
Jacob’s mother says she is thankful that someone decided to do right by her son.
“I really think somebody had a heart, I really do,” Jamie Watson said. “They saw this story and I think that’s why it’s here.”