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 http://www.373tips.com 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.