Thursday, June 28, 2007

Stolen police car ends up in Mexico

Something a little lighthearted, to break up the usually grim news from south of the border.

An unmarked take-home police vehicle, which was parked in the driveway of a Laredo Police Department investigators residence, was stolen while the officer slept, police said.Police spokesman Jose Baeza said Internal Affairs investigator and SWAT member Victor Barbarena noticed the vehicle missing early Wednesday morning, while getting ready to go to work.

"The officer woke up and the vehicle was not there," Baeza said, adding that a subsequent investigation revealed the unmarked Dodge Durango had made its way into Mexico sometime during the night.

It is unclear whether anything else was stolen.

Investigators with the Laredo Police Auto Theft Division launched an investigation Wednesday morning.

Baeza said that as of Wednesday evening, no arrests had been made.

"Right now we are investigating the who, what and where," Baeza said. "The investigation will take time."

Baeza said the investigator is always on call and is assigned a take-home vehicle because he responds to emergency situations any time there is an officer involved.

"He is also a member of SWAT, subject to deployment at any time," Baeza said.

According to police, this is the first time a law-enforcement vehicle is stolen from the department.

"We dont have too many vehicles that go missing," Baeza said. "But like they say, it can happen to anyone, anywhere."

Baeza added he was not surprised that it was a Dodge.

"A lot of Dodge vehicles have gone missing recently," Baeza said. "My understanding is that there have been issues of (Dodge) master keys floating around. We are working on that."

Laredo Morning Times - Stolen police car ends up in Mexico ; Investigators unmarked car taken from driveway while he slept


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