Running Car Stolen in Rochester, Crashed in Austin

Posted at: 03/06/2013 5:16 PM
Updated at: 03/06/2013 5:21 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 News) -- It’s a crime that started in one city and ended in another. And it serves as a good reminder for the rest of us.

"One should never leave their motor vehicle running unattended," said the Rochester Police Department Captain Brian Winters.

It’s a lesson a 26-year-old Rochester woman has learned the hard way. On Tuesday night she moved her car so she could clear the snow from her parking space at her apartment complex. She left the car running.

"They checked for that car later and it was missing," Winters told us.

While the investigating officer was entering the information about the stolen car into his computer; "That officer received notification that that vehicle had been involved just actually within 15 to 20 minutes after being stolen on I-90," Winters said.

“A ruined car, because it was involved in a rollover in the Austin area," Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi added.

The car thief who crashed the car had fled the scene.

"It seems like every winter we have situations where individuals because of the cold weather start a vehicle, leave it running outside, perhaps maybe to clean off the windshields," said Winters.

But city ordinances in Rochester, Austin and Albert Lea say it's illegal to leave a running car unattended, for good reason.

"It's unfortunate that we have these things that people like to prey upon people, but they'll take anything that isn't nailed down or is nailed down in a lot of cases," said Amazi.

“It's an invitation to be stolen and in this particular case someone took that invitation," Winters added.