Idling car stolen, quickly recovered - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Idling car stolen, quickly recovered

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APD found the car abandoned on Thompkins Avenue APD found the car abandoned on Thompkins Avenue
Owen Griffin looked outside to see someone driving off in his KIA Rio Owen Griffin looked outside to see someone driving off in his KIA Rio
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

It was cold enough this morning that Owen Griffin decided to let his car warm up, so he left it idling at his Waverly Avenue home around 10 a.m.  

He later looked outside to see someone driving off in his KIA Rio a short time later.

He called Albany Police, and officers patrolled the area, and found the car abandoned on Thompkins Avenue, undamaged, around 10:45 a.m.

Griffin watched Albany Police lift fingerprints off of it, trying to identify the thief who drove away with it when Griffin was getting ready to go to work.

"I left my car running because it was a cold day.  I was coming right back out.  Saw out of the corner of my eye somebody driving off with my vehicle," Griffin said.

Griffin ran to cut off the 2008 Kia Rio, jumping in front to try to stop the thief.

"The guy slowed down.  I thought he was going to hit me.  Then I just tried to break the window out, to get ahold of him. But you know he pulled off and left me."

Griffin called police who quickly covered the East Albany area near Johnson and Pinson Roads.  45 minutes after it was stolen police found Griffin's car abandoned in front of a home in the 200 block of Waverly Avenue.  The thief was gone.  The car appeared to be undamaged. 

Police say people should not ever leave their cars running. "With the number of motor vehicle thefts that we are seeing, and the entering autos.  So we encourage people to keep a close eye on their cars and don't leave their cars running, or with the doors unlocked for any brief moment," said APD Media Manager Phyllis Banks said.

Griffin now agrees.

"I don't have much. I didn't want him to steal my only car."

And he says he is really happy to get his stolen car back so quickly.

Officers said they aren't sure if the culprit wanted to steal the car, or was just joy-riding.

They are looking for a 300-pound black man, with dreadlocks, wearing a green shirt, and khaki pants. If you can help, call 911.

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