Local car dealer steps up to fix Marine's stolen pickup truck

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - A local Marine and father who served our country had his prized truck stolen and trashed before he was able to track it down online. After his story aired on Local 2 earlier this week, the Marine's truck is now being repaired as a thank you for his service.

With his truck unable to start, Marine veteran Mitch Akin and a burly tow truck driver push his truck down the road. Once a gleaming white, turbo-charged beauty, the truck is now a wreck.

"That was my baby, you know everything that's on it, I did that. I did the work on it, I bought the parts, I did all the work on it," said Akin.

He is a Marine Corps veteran who risked his life in Afghanistan. When the 24-year-old got back to the United States the first thing he bought was his dream machine -- a 1997 Dodge Ram 2500 turbo diesel pickup truck.

But three months ago it was stolen by thieves who trashed it. They tore off both the front and rear bumpers, shattered windows, ripped the upholstery and ruined the engine.

"The gaskets are just hanging, bolts are missing, and it got so dirty it collapsed the air filter," said Akin. "The light's hanging down."

Earlier this week, Local 2 Investigates brought you Akin's story and we were flooded with emails offering help. James Davis, president of Gulfgate Dodge Chrysler Jeep, was one of those aching to help out.

"This is a guy that was fighting for our country, he just got back from Afghanistan, he's a student, I have three daughters going to school, so my heart goes out," Davis said.

Davis offered to fix everything, and make Akin's truck like brand new again. The Marine was stunned.

"This is, I mean it, phenomenal, I don't even know what to say," said Akin. "I can't even believe this."

Davis estimates it will take $10,000 worth of work to put Akin's truck back the way it used to be. The job will take two weeks and, of course, the dealership is doing it absolutely free.

Now the truck is on it's way to being restored much in the same way Akin's faith in people is being restored. And it's all thanks to one man who put out his hand to help.

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