Recent car theft under investigation

Police chief: No leads, no suspects

The Craig Police Department is investigating an auto theft at Stillwater Motors in Craig that is thought to have occurred Dec. 29.

Gary Cole, Stillwater Motors general manager, noticed a maroon 2003 Ford Focus was missing from the business Dec. 30.

Keys to a 2005 Ford Taurus, a 2004 Ford F-250 and a 1995 Ford Explorer on the lot also were found missing. These vehicles, however, were not stolen.

Cole informed police of the theft Dec. 30, and a police investigation of the site began that day.

As of Monday, however, their investigation hadn't yielded any clues to the perpetrator's identity or the stolen car's location.

"We have no leads, we have no suspects, and we don't have a clue where the car is," Police Chief Walt Vanatta said.

Based on information provided by three witnesses, Cole estimated the theft occurred between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Dec. 29.

To Cole's knowledge, no one saw the crime transpire. However, he said, witnesses saw the Focus on the lot at 7:30 p.m. By 8 p.m., the vehicle was gone, witnesses said.

Last week's theft didn't appear to be part of an emerging trend.

Vanatta said he couldn't recall any other vehicle thefts that had occurred in the past six months. Neither could he call to mind recent thefts in which keys, but not vehicles, were stolen from a local car dealership.

Cole said he thinks the person or people who stole the Focus may return to take the other three vehicles.

However, any attempt at this point to determine why the keys were stolen would be "pure speculation," Vanatta said.

Other elements of the crime struck Cole as odd.

"It's kind of an interesting thing," he said. "They took every Ford key that I had."

He added that the stolen Ford Focus was the third least expensive vehicle on the lot.

The Focus is valued at $7,200. The Taurus, F-250 and Explorer are valued at $8,000, $11,000 and $2,500, respectively.

Cole said he thinks the perpetrator or perpetrators entered the business by removing a window in the garage door and reaching inside to unlock the entrance.

Cole has taken extra precautions to secure the building since the theft occurred. He's put a plate across the back entrance and keeps the building lit more now than before.

To his knowledge, though, all locks on the business were operating when the crime occurred.

"(There's) not much I can do," Cole said.

Anyone with more information about last week's break-in should call the Craig Police Department at 824-8111.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or bmanley@craigdailypress.com

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