BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- A Blue Springs 9-year-old had her eyes on her dad's treasured truck, but on Monday, thieves got their hands on that truck and everything inside.
Daniel Lawrence loves spending time with that special little one in his life: his 9-year-old daughter, Baylee, who was born with a half a heart. She underwent several surgeries, defied the odds and that’s why her dad calls her his “miracle child.”
“She’s just a big daddy’s girl. She’s got me wrapped around her finger,” Lawrence said Tuesday.
Even as she rode her bike outside their home in Blue Springs, Baylee's counting down to the day she can drive her dad’s big truck.
“I just like the color, the wheels and stuff. It’s not too big,” Baylee said as she sat on top of her father’s 1995 Dodge Ram.
“This is the first truck I ever bought, got a loan on, bought nice for myself,” Lawrence said.
On Monday morning, thieves had a different plan.
Lawrence said while he was at work inside a Lee’s Summit pasta manufacturing plant, several thieves were outside the plant stealing his treasured truck.
“It was crazy. I couldn’t believe it," he said. "This old truck that has 240,000 miles on it? I was just rebuilding it for my daughter. I plan to give it to her one day, likely on her 16th birthday. She likes big trucks, and she likes classic cars."
Lawrence said his co-worker saw two young guys pull up to their company in a black neon vehicle with dark-tinted windows. The Blue Springs dad said one of the crooks then hopped in his unlocked truck, and the pair sped off with a woman.
“He just jumped the curb and cut through the field in broad daylight. It really was crazy,” Lawrence said.
In addition to making off with his truck, the thieves stole the Army veteran’s wallet that had $250 in it, $2,000 worth of tools and a lot more.
“They stole my debit cards, credit cards, my veteran’s ID, my driver’s license and even my license plate. Yeah, they tore up my car and my life,” the frustrated father said.
The terrible truck theft also angered Lawrence’s little girl.
“I just think it’s very rude,” Baylee said.
About five hours later, Lawrence received an unexpected phone call.
“The manager at an auto repair shop in Independence called me and said he saw the stolen truck ad on social media, and he said he thought my truck was in the back of his business,” he said.
Lawrence went to the shop and saw his dashboard and ignition were both heavily damaged. One of his new headlights also busted.
“Yeah, it’s just so frustrating," he said. "I think the guys who did this are messed up. Not only to do that to somebody who works hard for everything, but I’m a veteran. I risked my life probably for them. All of this damage will cost me about several hundred dollars to repair. God blessed me with Baylee, so I’m certain I will fix it and give her her green stripes she wants painted on the truck."
“Green is my favorite color. I’m just glad daddy got it back,” Baylee said.