ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A UNM student has had his car stolen, not once, but twice in less than a year. This time, it happened just days before the start of the semester.

“I freaked out, so I run downstairs, go out there, and unfortunately, my vehicle was gone,” recalled UNM student Matthew Garcia. 

Matthew Garcia said he still remembers the moment back in February when he found out his Jeep was gone. The 22-year-old UNM student came out of his apartment near Montogomery and Louisiana and found a tool left behind in place of his car. 

“I felt anger, but I also wanted to break down. That’s how I get everywhere. How I get to school, how I get to work, to go see family,” said Garcia. 

Almost a week later, he got a call that his car had been found, but Garcia said it was left completely trashed. 

“It was stacked, almost to the roof, with just random boxes and other people’s stuff,” he said. 

During the following five months, he spent more than $4,000 making repairs and even bought car locks to deter thieves.

However, earlier this week, Garcia’s car was stolen again, just days before the start of school. In a surprising turn of events, Garcia got a call Saturday that police found his car. 

Garcia said it was left even more destroyed than the last time with evidence of drug paraphernalia, clothes, and trash throughout the car. Although his Jeep wasn’t in the best condition, he said he’s grateful for the community’s support both times his car was stolen.

“The amount of people that helped me out, I don’t have words for it, but it’s unconditional amounts of appreciation and love that I have to everybody that helped me out,” expressed Garcia. 

Garcia claimed that an apology letter was found inside of his vehicle when it was recovered. Police are still investigating.