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Posted: 12/31/2003 5:26:26 AM EDT
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PITTSBURGH - Joan Visokey calls it a "Christmas miracle." A thief who stole her cousin's car returned it two days later along with a letter of apology, police said.

Visokey and her cousin, Janet Hartman, were about to go shopping Sunday when they discovered that Hartman's car, which contained her purse, $200, credit cards and heart medicine, had been stolen off the street.

On Christmas Eve, Visokey found a blue envelope sitting on her front porch, police said. Inside were the keys to Hartman's car and a letter.

"I could never apologize enough for your car being stolen," the letter said. "There is no damage done to it ... I will try to replace the money I stole.

"I have never done anything like this before and I never will again," the letter said.

Directed by the letter, Visokey ran behind a church and found the car. Hartman's purse was tucked under one of the seats but the wallet was gone, police said.

Visokey left a Christmas card on her door, thanking the thief.

However, police believe the thief may have used the car for three other crimes and have impounded it.

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