TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — An East Aurora woman finally has her car back after it was stolen back in May — and was involved in an incident where a Town of Tonawanda police officer was injured. 

“It’s kind of mixed feelings. I mean I know it’s not over today because now I got to figure out where the next step is,” Gretchen Morgan, whose car was stolen, said.

Morgan says the last five months have been a nightmare. On Memorial Day weekend, according to police, thieves drove her Kia across Erie County from East Aurora to the town of Tonawanda. 

Town of Tonawanda Police officer David Piatek pulled over the stolen car. Police say the driver sped away, dragging and injuring the officer. 

While Morgan’s car was being held for evidence, she still had to pay the insurance and car payments totaling $500 each month.

Morgan first shared her story with News 4 last week because she was frustrated that law enforcement and her insurance company weren’t helping her. 

“I think that is just way too long. I don’t blame anybody, we all want that guy to get the maximum he could get, and if that’s what it took to keep my car that long then I understand, but I just don’t think it should’ve taken that long,” Morgan said.

After her story aired on News 4, she got a call from Town of Tonawanda Police and the District Attorney’s office. 

She was told she could pick her car up from an impound in the town and that a $7,000 impound fee was being taken care of. 

“Thinking I would have to figure this out with my insurance or what was going to happen, knowing that I still owe money on this car, and then to get the phone call today. I felt like this giant relief was taken off me,” Morgan said.

After going through all this, she never wants to own a Kia again.

“Cut my losses and just move on and hopefully no one else has to go through this,” she said.

“I don’t even really want to drive it home today,” Morgan added. “But I’m just going to take it home, we’ll probably go through it, and get rid of it as fast as possible and I’ll never own a Kia again ever in my life, and good luck to whoever does.”

19-year old Dareious Akbar, who police say was driving the stolen car, is being charged with attempted murder. He will be back in court this Thursday. He faces up to 25 years in prison. 

Latest Local News

Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.