Sheriff's office looking into reported theft, wreck of car in St. Joseph

Sheriff's office looking into reported theft, wreck of car in St. Joseph

ST. JOSEPH — Champaign County sheriff's deputies are asking for help finding the person who reportedly stole a car from outside a St. Joseph bar last week and later wrecked it.

Sgt. Dan Coile said the owner of a 2011 Toyota Camry called deputies to his home in the 1500 block of Nottingham in St. Joseph about midnight on March 7 to report his car had been stolen.

After ringing the bell and knocking repeatedly, deputies had the police dispatcher call the man's home to get him to answer the door. Coile said when he did answer, he appeared dazed and confused and reported that his car had been stolen from outside Roch's Bar in the 100 block of North Main Street about 11:30 p.m., where he had left it running to heat it after having been in the bar for a few hours.

The man could provide no information as to who might have taken the car and told deputies that the bar owner gave him a ride home. After deputies left his house, they found the car wrecked into a utility pole about a half-mile away. Damage to the car was estimated at $22,000 and to the pole at $10,000, Coile said.

Deputies returned to the man's home but could not get him to answer the door. After having the car towed they tried a second time — unsuccessfully — to raise the man.

On March 8, they contacted the bar owner who said that he had given the car owner a ride home but that the man had not been in his bar drinking as he had told deputies. The bar owner said the man came in near closing time and asked for a ride.

Coile said deputies tried again over the weekend to contact the car owner but were unable to find him.

Coile asks anyone who has information on how the car got wrecked to call the sheriff's office at 384-1213 or contact Crimestoppers at 373-8477.

Information can also be sent by anonymous web tip by going to or by cell phone text by sending CCTip plus the information to CRIMES (274637).

Information can be provided anonymously. Crimestoppers will pay a reward if the information leads an arrest. Cash rewards are also paid for information on other felony crimes or fugitives in the Champaign County area.

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rsp wrote on March 13, 2013 at 10:03 am

They should check the airbag for the owner's dna. "Dazed and confused"...sounds like what happens when you hit a pole. Allegedly. Maybe he should talk to his doctor,clergy or other before it's too late. oops.

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on March 13, 2013 at 11:03 am

This isn't going to end well

wow1 wrote on March 13, 2013 at 11:03 am

The ole "my car was stolen" story after I drove it because I was DUI and rammed it into a pole. I bet the police have NEVER heard that one. Why is this even an artilcle on here other than to embarrass the registered owner into telling the truth. Geesh! Get your story straight before you lie to the police. 

alumni90 wrote on March 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Ok,...sequence of events were probably the following:

#1 The man parked his vehicle outside of the bar; and, went inside where he proceeded to consume alcoholic beverages; and, left the bar after he had consumed alcoholic beverages;

#2 He entered his vehicle while intoxicated on a public street in St. Joe and drove on a public street; and, ultimately struck a pole because he was impaired by alcohol;

#3 He later returned to the bar and advised the bar employee/owner that he had wrecked his car and asked the employee/owner to take him home.  Person took him home to Nottingham Drive in St. Joe.

#4 He thought, "oh crap, how do I cover this up,..I had better call the Champaign County Sheriffs Office and report that my car was stolen so I don't get arrested for a DUI", said man calls 911; knowing that he had struck a pole while intoxicated and while driving while intoxicated; but, "how do I cover this up?"  I'll make up a story that my car was stolen....oook

#5 CCSO shows up at my door (because I called them); but, I don't hear the deputy ring the doorbell or knock on my door because I'm dazed, confused and drunk.......

#6 But, for some reason the Deputy believes my story; doesn't perform field sobriety; or, if I suffered a personal injury from the accident; didn't take me to the hospital for a blood draw for a blood alcohol level that was probably wellllll over the legal limit..And, doesn't open the door when the Deputy returns for more information,....duh!!!

#7 Glad I was at home and no one was hurt or killed by the drunk driver that didn't go to jail that night........

alumni90 wrote on March 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Oh,....I forgot.....and, the employee/owner of Roch's bar says, "uh,..he wasn't drinking in my bar"......ya right

billbtri5 wrote on March 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm

they can't be falling for that one...


whatithink wrote on March 13, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Roch's also NEVER exceeds the number of people in occupancy for fire code and made the place "accessible" to those with disablities when gutting and remodeling the place.

Of course they didn't serve some drunkin idiot and let him drive.  Admitting that would be like saying they were somewhat liable.

Martin1 wrote on March 13, 2013 at 8:03 pm
Profile Picture

I have been waiting for something like this to happen and I totally agree with you about your occupancy comment. I've been by and couldn't believe how crowded it was inside. But then again it's St Joe, no enforcement, no worries..........

ilpatriot wrote on March 13, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I'm pretty sure you could have found a firefighter inside to do a head count.

Morris44 wrote on March 14, 2013 at 11:03 pm

This is a story that a 15 year old would make up. My assumption is this a grown adult. What a joke!  Filing a false police report is completely unacceptable. You are pulling the police away from REAL situations. How would you feel if when they were playing your games they were unable to respond to a serious situation. Selfish move. Getting a DUI has consequences but filing a false report does, too. It really shows your character. That scenario was about as original and believable as, "my dog ate my homework!"

whatithink wrote on March 16, 2013 at 1:03 pm

The tracks where the car hit the power pole indicate the Car thieves must have been returning the car to his home or ar least were heading in that direction.  Dude lives in fancy house and will buy his way out I'm sure, there are only about a half a dozen homes in the 1500 block of nottingham drive.  Wonder which one this idiot lived in, why not put his name in the paper like everyone else.  Did he pay the news-gazette to withhold his name? 

Whatareyouthinkn wrote on March 19, 2013 at 9:03 am

Pretty sure there was probably a sheriff's investigator in Roch's drinking with him that convenient for an alabi?

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Wow... the man has already been judged guilty of a crime with three "probably" conspiracy theories thrown in to boot.  The bar is trashed by comments also.  Why bother with an investigation, and a possible trial?  Just identify him for the mob of indignant citizens.

How about letting the Sheriff's Office do their job?  How about laying off anonymous comments about the bar?  If you have creditable information, call Crime Stoppers.

TheChiefLives wrote on March 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Exactly.  These people have no idea what happened.  The guy may have made up a story involving Roch's, or he may have been there after all.  Either way, why blame the business?

Or the cops?  They have to have a reason to arrest someone.  What if the guy's story had been true and this cop arrests him simply because he had been drinking?  MY GOD you people would be outraged!  The cop would be blasted, probably suspended, possibly lose his job...and for what?  What a thankless job...danged if you don't, danged if you do.

And should firefighters not be allowed to have a drink there???  Or cops???  What is wrong with these people?  Ok, I get it.  You don't like people who drink.  You don't like bars.  You don't like businesses.  You don't like small towns.  You don't like public servants.  Or cars. Or people.  Or money.  Or beer.  Or sports.  Or spinach.  Or things that are blue.  Or butterflies....

And what does the ADA have to do with their operation in their building that THEY OWN, during remodeling, BEFORE IT WAS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC???

I think the story is fishy too (DUH), but some of you folks take things way too far.

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 19, 2013 at 4:03 pm

TheChiefLives;  Well stated!  I believe St. Joe has a volunteer fire department also.  The man was not, or has not been arrested.  The News Gazette gave the block he lives on, and the description or the car.  They did everything; but give his name.  Again, your comment was on the mark.

2muchfun2 wrote on March 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm

It's actually alibi...not alabi. It's not a good idea to make false assumptions or statements, especially about those who serve and protect. This is simply a case of an individual making very poor choices and dragging other innocent people into the matter. Regarding the business, it seems that it would be up to the Village government to ensure that all rules and regulations are followed according to occupancy and liquor license.