(Update: Adding video, comments from CRR car theft victim)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- What was supposed to be a fun birthday celebration for Ryan Andersen, a Crooked River Ranch man having dinner and a movie, turned into a disaster when his brand new car was stolen.
“I worked really hard to purchase a new car, and it was gone,” Andersen said Monday.
Andersen, his wife and three kids went to the Old Mill in Bend to watch Spider-Man: No Way Home.
But when they returned to the parking lot after dinner, his 2020 Mazda CX-5 (with license plate 014-NFR) was gone, and they were stranded.
“And then it hits me that -- I don’t know, I don’t know what’s happened,” Andersen said. “The car’s gone, it's cold, it's really late at night, and it was overwhelming.”
He said they were running late for the movie, and most likely his key fob fell out of his pocket.
Andersen, his wife and two of his children live in Crooked River Ranch, but he has had family in the area for 40 years.
Knowing someone in Bend found his keys and decided to take the car was upsetting, but not surprising.
“This small community isn’t what it was,” Andersen said.
Also this past weekend, a woman told NewsChannel 21 someone stole her children’s Christmas gifts and a purse from her car in the parking lot of the Waypoint Hotel on Third Street.
The woman said it was her boyfriend's birthday and she went to her car to grab cake and his gift, but forgot to relock the car.
When they came back down later that night, everything was gone.
This past February, Bend police reported that from 2019 to 2020, there was a 56.5% increase in reported stolen vehicles.
The data found 25% of the time, the keys were left inside, and roughly 32% of the time, the car was unlocked.
Andersen was able to borrow his old truck that he sold to Bend Honda on Friday, but only for a few days.
With Christmas around the corner, he said it hasn’t been easy trying to get back on his feet.
“It hurts when these things happen. And when people are in dire need, they do desperate things when they are in dire need, and it hurts,” Andersen said. “I feel bad for where they’re at, and I feel sad for where they’re at. And during this season, especially if people … they just got to know that it hurts all of us. When things like this happen, it hurts all of us.”