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Neighborly help.

One day before Christmas last year, Christina Norvell of Wilmington, North Carolina, received a phone call from neighbor Thomas Cambron, who informed her that an unoccupied gray Honda was idling in front of her home.

When Norvell investigated, she was shocked to discover that her 1994 white Honda, which should have been parked in front of her house, was missing. Police informed her that the gray substitute had been reported stolen, and speculated that the thieves noticed the white Honda and opted to upgrade.

Within minutes, neighbor Cambron's daughter Carmen, 14, who had taken off on her bicycle to search for the white Honda, arrived back at the scene to report that she bad found it about a quarter-mile away in an apartment complex. Carmen, who attends Williston Middle School in Wilmington, recalled for the February 5 Wilmington Star-News, "I pedaled back so fast, my chain came off."

The thieves had hot-wired the car, removed the ignition, and stolen a stereo and CD player. Norvell was nevertheless delighted that the vehicle had been found so quickly and was in relatively good condition. She praised Carmen for being "a really good detective. I owe my car to her." The thieves have not been apprehended.

On February 11, the Wilmington Police Department formally recognized Carmen's civic involvement during a ceremony in front of her gym class. She was awarded $100 and a plaque for her "courageous efforts." She said that she "just really wanted to help" her neighbors and that she will likely buy clothes with the reward money.
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Title Annotation:The Goodness Of America
Author:Lee, Robert W.
Publication:The New American
Date:Apr 19, 2004
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