Waitress Finds Loyal Customer's Stolen Car - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Waitress Finds Loyal Customer's Stolen Car

A Sanger man now has his car - and his independence – again, thanks to an observant waitress who did more than keep his coffee cup full.

Someone stole 63-year-old Joe Avila's 2001 Saturn Sunday, from his Sanger apartment.

The retired barber and army veteran considers his car, a lifeline.

"My car, means I don't have to walk," says Avila. "It was gone, I panicked. It felt terrible. I called the police."

Later that night, a friend picked him up.

The the two went out for their nightly trip to Denny's in the Sunnyside area.

Yvonne Mora, was managing the place that night.

"They're cool guys," she says. "They come in, they have their coffee, apple pie, they chit chat..."

She noticed Avila was not himself, so she asked how he was was doing.

That's when he said his car was stolen.

"He gave me make, model, year, and first three of license number. I googled the image, found one, cropped it, put it on Facebook hoping someone would see it," she says.

"Us old guys don't deal with that stuff. I said sure, go ahead," said Avila.

Hours later, around 2:00 a.m., Mora went to the Walmart in Sanger to pick up some items for her son for the following day at school.

"I pull in, I look up, I see there's a car that looks like Joe's car," she says. "I walked over and saw it was missing the three hubcaps... And the first three of the license plate matched."

She called 911.

Police officers picked up Avila, and took him to the site.

It was less than a mile from his home.

Mora, was looking on.

"I said, ‘Come here!' and I hugged her," he says.

Mora responded, "I was like, ‘I found the car, Joe!' It was amazing. It was the most amazing feeling."

Avila jokes, "She's a good waitress. I like her even more now!"

Mora says that she figured someone on social media would find the car, but never thought she would find it.

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