Car reported stolen from Bangor garage found in Tennessee

Posted Feb. 16, 2011, at 7:34 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A car that was dropped off for repairs at a local garage earlier this month but was stolen when the driver gave the keys to a man who did not work at the shop has been found in Tennessee, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Wednesday.

“It was just parked somewhere down there and recovered,” he said.

The Chattanooga (Tenn.) Police Department called Bangor police at 5 a.m. Wednesday to report they had recovered the 2001 silver Pontiac Grand Am that had been reported stolen.

The person who took the car has not been caught, Edwards said. He is described as a white male, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and was wearing a black puffy jacket when last seen.

The theft occurred around 1 p.m. Feb. 6 when a Hudson woman asked her grandfather to drop off her car at Westgate Gulf on Union Street for repairs.

“The grandfather arrived at [the garage] and walked up to a man standing outside the business. The grandfather assumed the man worked for the business and asked if he could take the keys and make sure the mechanic got the work done,” Edwards said earlier this month.

The thief said he would do that, but then took the car. The car owner did not know there was a problem until the next day, when she called to check on her car and workers at the garage told her it wasn’t there.

A police officer in Westbrook ran the license plate at around 12:30 a.m. Feb. 7, but at that time the car wasn’t listed as stolen.

“He almost got lucky,” Edwards said. Initial reports said the officer pulled over the car, but “it was not pulled over. It was a plate that was run.”

The Hudson woman is now making arrangements to get her car.

“The vehicle is reportedly in fine condition,” Edwards said.

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