ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – A mother of three is asking the public for help after her family’s 2017 Dodge Journey was stolen. It happened in the middle of the family’s trip, from Abilene to Odessa, to move into their new home.
Summer McCullough says her three kids and boyfriend made a pit stop at the Pilot Travel Center off I-20 in Big Spring Sunday around 2:45 P.M.
“I took my daughter into the Pilot to use the restroom,” McCullough recalls.
She says shortly after she went inside, her boyfriend took her 8-year-old son and her 18-month-old son in, too.
Their 2017 black Dodge Journey (TX License Plate: PFM6940) can only start with a key fob. Summer says her boyfriend thought she had it, when he also went into the gas station. But she didn’t have the keys.
When the family came back outside, there was a serious problem.
“Where’s the car?… He walked out the door, and that’s when we kind of both realized, the car was gone,” McCullough said.
A lot of personal items were in the vehicle, including all of the kids’ clothing, new video game tablets, Summer’s wallet, and even a dirt bike.
“We woke up this morning with no clothes, no shoes for the baby,” McCullough said. “Everything they had gotten from Christmas. Basically, stuff that was new and fun to them.”
Many of those items were sentimental, including her 8-year-old son’s childhood blankets. But perhaps the worst thing was when Summer realized, the thief took off with her son’s medication. Summer says her oldest son is disabled.
“The thing is, we feel kind of intruded, because whoever took it, had to have been watching,” McCullough said.
With no way to Odessa, Summer says her family had to sit at the gas station for a while, waiting to be picked up in Big Spring to go to their new home.
“I can’t imagine they got into that vehicle and saw car seats, a baby car seat, and my daughter’s booster seat, and didn’t realize that it’s a family that they’re affecting,” McCullough said.
Right now, the family is holding onto hope, waiting for another update. Big Spring Police have reviewed surveillance video which shows the family’s vehicle leaving the back of the gas station.
“I mean, my kids are so resilient. They know that our family is more important… than things will ever be…”
Summer has a strong message to whoever stole her vehicle:
“I’ve been a single mom since my kids were born. I hope that you realize what you’ve done to a family, and children,” McCullough said. “They didn’t deserve that.”
Summer also says she works as ride share driver and does food deliveries. So, not having a vehicle is hurting her income. The family is asking for donations to get them back on their feet while they continue their move to Odessa, and wait for their return of their vehicle. You can find the link to the GoFundMe here.