Stolen vehicle carries sentimental value for CR woman

Cathy Folkers stands proudly next to her freshly washed Saturn Ion. The vehicle, which carries both utility and sentimental value, was stolen on June 11.

When Cathy Folkers stepped outside of her mobile home on June 11, she quickly noticed something missing -- her 2006 Saturn Ion.

A neighbor relayed the car was taken -- possibly by one of her sons -- in the early morning hours.

Folkers felt momentary relief, but after checking with her children, she realized the car was stolen.

"I just started bawling, and I called the police," said Folkers.

The police took down her information, and as it turned out, they had already received a call from someone else about a car matching the description.

"The vehicle may have been involved in a burglary at 3000 J St SW," wrote a Cedar Rapids police spokesman in a text.

Folkers alleged the thief committed a string of burglaries on the city's southwest side before taking the car on a joyride of sorts.

The vehicle wound up in Cedar Falls -- more than 50 miles from the Five Seasons Manufactured Home Community in Cedar Rapids -- abandoned along Highway 20 after an apparent off-roading incident, which disabled the vehicle.

The car was a total loss.

"What did I do in my prior life to deserve this?" wondered Folkers, who said she lives by karma and always strive to do the right thing.

Optimistic the thief would be identified through prints, Folkers asked investigators to process the car.

They did, but to no avail, with no viable prints found.

"There's not gonna be any justice," said Folkers, overcome with emotion.

The Saturn was more than a car for Folkers, who sold her RV to scrounge up just enough money to pay for the vehicle in order to take care of her ailing mother.

Folkers' mom passed away in May 2017, and the car served as a sentimental link until a little more than a week ago.

Moreover, the car was a savior.

"I'm disabled," said Folkers, who has "up to 30-some [medical] appointments in a month." She's used the car to get to those appointments, saying the Saturn has " pretty much been my livelihood."

Her disability prevents Folkers from working, so she has no means to buy a new car.

However, her friends are rallying behind her, launching a GoFundMe page to raise money for a replacement.

As of June 19 at 6 p.m., the campaign had raised $100 out of $3,000.

When asked what it would mean if the community came together to help her purchase a vehicle, Folkers sputtered. Overwhelmed by emotions, she said simply, "It would mean a lot."

If you'd like to donate, click here.

No suspects are currently identified, but if you have information, you are encouraged to call the Cedar Rapids police at 319-286-5491.

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