A United States veteran who invited a homeless woman to stay has been double-crossed and had her car stolen.

69-year-old Sharon Larson, of Fairfield, California, met a homeless woman outside a McDonald's and noticed that she was hungry and cold. Larson offered to take the woman, "Lynn", back to her house for a few nights.

"I couldn't leave her outside in leggings," Larson told KRON 4 news station. "They're just leggings. No jacket. No coat. I was just helping someone in need."

Larson had the woman stay for the night on Monday (19 February) and even spent Tuesday washing her clothes. The woman stayed for dinner on Tuesday night.

When she came out of the bathroom shortly after the meal, Larson noticed Lynn had vanished, along with her car keys.

Larson confirmed that her Mazda CX-7 had been stolen and called the police. She had her grandsons's batman car seat in the back.

"It is breaking my heart because now I'm feeling like I can't help anybody anymore, and I always help people," Larson said in tears. "And now, I feel like if I help them, they'll just steal from me or hurt me."

It was the first car that Larson had owned. "Why did you take my car? Why did you take my pride and joy? Why did you take my baby? Can I have her back, please? I would think about not pressing charges if I could have my baby back."

A former homeless person, Larson said she took Lynn in because she always wished someone would have done the same for her. "I was thinking 'I wish someone would have done that for me when I was that way,' so I treated her with all the kindness I had."