PIPD still searching for stolen car

Kathy McCarty  , Special to The County
9 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Police are investigating a string of car thefts that have occurred in the Star City over the past month, with at least one arrest made to date, while one of the four cars taken has yet to be recovered.
The Presque Isle Police Department received the first report at 8:49 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, from an individual claiming his vehicle had been stolen from Hogan Tire on Rice Street. The caller said he’d dropped the vehicle — a Ford Explorer — on Saturday and when he went to pick it up on Monday, it was gone. The vehicle was later found parked at another Presque Isle business.
“On Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, we recovered the 2002 Ford Explorer from Carroll’s Auto Sales on Main Street,” said Sgt. Eric Erickson, of the PIPD.

About two weeks later, the PIPD received another call reporting a stolen vehicle.
At approximately 9:20 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24, the PIPD received a call from an employee at Hogan Tire reporting they had another customer vehicle stolen on Saturday night. The vehicle was dropped off by the owner and later taken from the parking lot. The caller indicated surveillance video showed it was the same person who’d taken the SUV two weeks earlier.
Police recovered the vehicle on Wednesday, Aug. 27.
“The 2003 Chevy Suburban was recovered behind County Physical Therapy on Autumn Street,” Erickson said.
The last two vehicles — both Chevy Malibus — were reported stolen on Tuesday, Sept. 9.
The PIPD received the first call around 11:28 a.m. The caller indicated she’d parked her car behind her apartment building around midnight the night before and now it was gone. She indicated it was a tan Chevy Malibu, with a missing rear wheel cover and lots of Army stickers on the back and lots of rust on the gas door.
The second report came in around 7:57 p.m. An employee of Carroll’s Auto Sales called stating a customer had called him at home advising his vehicle was not on the lot. It had been repaired at the shop and left in the parking lot. The caller said he’d since checked the lot but was unable to find the vehicle. He indicated it’s possible it was missing since the night before.
“The second Chevy Malibu, a 2004, taken from Carroll’s, was recovered on Main Street. The 2000 Chevy Malibu taken from the apartment building parking lot has not been recovered,” said Erickson.
Erickson said all four thefts had one thing in common.
“The keys were left in all the vehicles,” he said.
Erickson said one man has been arrested, with more arrests possible.
“As a result of the investigation, 41-year-old Thomas Klinger of Presque Isle was charged with two counts of theft by Det. William Scull, in reference to the two stolen vehicles in cards 14-10825 (2003 Chevy Suburban, taken from Hogan Tire) and 14-10087 (the 2002 Ford Explorer, taken from Hogan Tire),” said Erickson.
Police advise motorists to lock their vehicles, no matter where they’re parked, and if planning to have repair work done, try to arrange a place to put the key, rather than leaving it in the ignition.
The 2000 Chevy Malibu had still not been recovered as of presstime on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. Anyone with information is asked to call the PIPD at 764-4476.