Patricia Harris purposely left her car door unlocked, hoping that photos of her baby would be returned by whoever had stolen her purse Friday.
The plan worked for Harris, 27, of York City.
Her son: She now has the cellphone memory card with more than 500 photos of her son, Cole Brady Fogle, who was born Dec. 10 but died Feb. 22 of sudden infant death syndrome.
"I guess the thief has a portion of a heart," she said. "You just take things and you don't know what you're stealing from someone and what it means for that person or their family."
Harris said that she will see whether the memory card still works but is glad to have it back in her possession.
Neither the purse nor the other items have been returned.
Stolen purse: About 5:30 p.m. Friday, after getting home with her four children — ages 2 to 6 years old — Harris got them settled in her house.
"Having to get four children settled is a handful," she said. "I realized I didn't have my purse. When I went back to the car to get it, it was gone. The memory card was in my purse. I was lost. I cried a lot."
The incident was reported to police. Harris said she later learned that one of her credit cards had been used at a local Turkey Hill.
However, her main concern was getting her son's photos back from the memory card of her Lg Optimus F7 cellphone, which was in her purse, stolen from the passenger seat of her 2004 Grand Prix.
Harris said she and her fiance, Michael Fogle, 30, put up fliers about the baby pictures on Richland Avenue, Princess and King streets, areas near her home, hoping that someone would help them get the photos back.
'Overjoyed': She decided to leave her car doors open in case the purse thief opted to return to the memory card.
Harris said she was at work about 1:30 p.m. Monday when Fogle text messaged her that her memory card had been returned to her car. The card was tucked in her Comcast work badge and left hanging on the rearview mirror. The badge was among the items in her stolen purse.
"I was overjoyed," Harris said. "It was probably the happiest day I've had since (Cole) died."
—Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.