‘What do I do now?’: Charlotte woman’s car stolen less than a week after apartment fire

Her car was stolen five days after she was displaced by an apartment fire.
A woman's car was stolen from a Charlotte hotel less than a week after she lost her home in a fire.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 11:12 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A string of car thefts in Charlotte last weekend hit one woman especially hard.

According to police reports, two car burglaries and two attempted car burglaries took place between Saturday and Sunday on one small stretch of South Tryon Street, right near Nations Ford Road.

One of those cars belonged to a woman who recently lost her home to a fire.

Erica Whitted is taking it about as well as anybody could expect, and said she’s thankful she and her mother are okay through it all.

On May 15, a fire raged through Whitted’s apartment building at the corner of South Tryon Street and Arrowood Road, giving her time to grab only a few things before she and her mother evacuated.

“At the time, it’s like you couldn’t grab anything, like it was so quick,” she said. “Good thing I washed my clothes and left them at the door, that was the only thing I could really grab.”

She packed up those clothes in her car and drove herself and her mother to Hyatt Homes just down the street.

Then, just a few days later, her horrible week got worse.

Whitted’s Hyundai Tucson was stolen from the parking lot of her hotel, leaving her without a home or car.

“I was actually leaving to go to Dunkin’ Donuts, and I was just like ‘where’s my car?’” she said. “It’s like ‘what do I do now?’ I’m trying to fix one situation and now I’m in another situation.”

Fortunately, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police quickly found her car right across the state line in York County.

“They just busted a window and hot-wired it, and left it stranded in the middle of the road,” Whitted said of the theft.

She should get her car back next week once it gets fixed, but between taking care of her mother and losing their home last week, she said the car theft was a breaking point for her mentally.

“I mean I do everything, I take care of my mom, I go to work. And for it to happen, it’s like ‘Just why?’” she said.

Despite going through an incredibly difficult week, Whitted is still taking it all with a smile on her face.

“Mentally I take it day-by-day,” she said. “That’s all you really can do. The world’s going to keep going, so I just keep on going.”

As she has dealt with seemingly one awful break after another, her manager at work started a GoFundMe campaign to help Whitted and her family replace everything they lost in the fire. Those interested in helping can do so here.

Related: Investigators: 2-alarm fire at Charlotte apartment complex accidental