Stolen Camera Returned to Dying Mother After TV Appeal

A thief who stole a camera from a terminally ill Oklahoma mother had a change of heart after seeing the distraught woman’s story on the news.

Jami McElrath’s camera, which was loaded with photos of a family trip to a Six Flags park in Texas, was stolen after the thief broke into their car while they were eating in a restaurant on Dec. 1.

McElrath, who has inoperable cancer, was collecting photos to place in a scrapbook for her children so they could remember her after she was gone. The camera had belonged to her father, who died of a heart attack two years ago.

The woman told her heart-wrenching story to Dallas-area news station WFAA TV, appealing to the burglar to return the camera.

"I just want my camera back," she told WFAA reporter Jim Douglas. "I just want those memories back."

Then something remarkable happened. A few days after the story aired, Douglas got a call from a man who told him to look behind a red car in the station’s parking lot. The caller didn't leave his name; he said only that he felt bad about the incident and wanted to return the camera.

When Douglas presented McElrath with the camera in person, tears filled her eyes.

"Whoever you are, thank you so much," she said. "Thank you for having a conscience and bringing it back. I can't tell you what it means to me."

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