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Memphis mother's car stolen with holiday gifts inside

“I lost all of my children’s Christmas gifts. In all, I lost my car. I’m a single mom," said Kemyra Steel.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Car thefts have been an on-going issue following a recent TikTok challenge. It has happened all across the nation with certain car models and makes, even here in Memphis.

“Let them tell it. I’m the best mommy in the world,” said Kemyra Steel, a Memphis resident. 

The best shows up even through the worst. Steel lives in Kensington manor near Parkway Village in Memphis.

Two weeks ago, Steel took her children to her mother’s apartment who lives in that same complex. Then, she walked to her own apartment. 

“I was at home for about 10 to 15 minutes. When I came back to my mom’s house, my car was gone,” said Steel.

She drove a 2019 KIA Optima

“At first, I was shocked because it was like, my car is gone. Then, it went to devastation like, my car is gone!” said Steel.

Steel’s work and personal laptops were in the car, along with her children’s car seats and early holiday shopping gifts. 

“I lost all of my children’s Christmas gifts. In all, I lost my car. I’m a single mom. That’s how I get my kids back and forth to school. That’s how I get myself back and forth to work,” said Steel.

Her vehicle is one of the models seen in thefts tied to a TikTok challenge. 

“My frustrations come with the car manufacturers. One, you guys need to up your security with these cars and stop making a simple key. That first. Then, for the simple fact that you guys saw this video drop. You guys should have said, ‘Hey, we need to do something to fix that problem,’” said Steel.

In her case, her car became a total loss. 

“When the police found my car, my car is literally nothing. They striped it,” said Steel. “Now I have to replace.”

It is a burden no mother should carry.

“We work hard for the stuff that we want for ourselves and our family. It’s hurtful and hateful for someone else to feel like they deserve what we spend our hard-earned money to just come and take.”

Despite having been taken from, Steel still gives. 

“Those are my babies. Like everything I do, I literally do it for them.” 

She gives through love. Steel said there have been other car thefts and break-ins at her apartments. She said she has noticed more efforts to improve security at the complex.

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