CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It's been less than a week since a Charlotte woman was carjacked at gunpoint in her driveway. But after her story aired on Channel 9, the community rallied behind her for a big surprise.
Hope McKinney told Channel 9's Briana Harper last weekend she felt violated that someone would steal her car right out of her driveway in the Hidden Valley neighborhood of north Charlotte.
She said she got home around 11 p.m. after running some errands. Then, a stranger approached her asking for a cigarette.
McKinney said the next moment, the man showed her his gun, threatened her, then took off with her car.
She said she felt a rush of different emotions -- from anger to feelings of helplessness.
"I am like, 'How dare you,'" McKinney said. "If I don't bother you, don't bother me. Again, they're taking advantage of vulnerabilities. I'm not a big woman. You have just victimized me. Now, you're taking off leaving me outside to maybe be victimized further."
McKinney told Channel 9 she is thankful she wasn't hurt and in hindsight, the stolen car was the least of her worries.
"The loss isn't so much about the valuable things, but it did give me a sense of empowerment to say that he didn't get anything," McKinney said. "I can't afford to curl up in a ball. I can't afford to put the brakes on anything. My mindset now has to change. I know what I'm trying to do."
Police said not only did the suspect get away in the stolen car, but he also took McKinney's purse, which had other personal items in it as well.
She said since her car was stolen, however, she has received an amazing amount of community support.
"Already I'm getting good news, already things are on the up and up," McKinney said.
Channel 9 was there Wednesday morning when Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers escorted McKinney to police headquarters, where CMPD and Scott Clark Toyota presented her with a new car.
They said it was a gesture they hope will give her a new start and new sense of safety.
"You think maybe you've hit rock bottom and you think you're at the lowest low, but that's not always the case," McKinney said.
She said the new car is a huge blessing. She has been looking for a job and now, she can finally drive herself to interviews.
Cox Media Group