An unidentified man stole a UOPD patrol car early Wednesday morning. The car was recovered about an hour later at 4:30 a.m., but UOPD is still searching for the suspect.
According to UOPD, the car was left running in front of a University of Oregon building on Walnut Street. The officer was inside the building at the time.
While it is standard procedure to leave cars running while officers are not in them — in order to keep electronic systems running — the officer left his keys in the car, according to UO Police Chief Matthew Carmichael. Leaving keys in the car is not standard procedure.
“This is a pretty serious event,” Carmichael told the Emerald. “It’s pretty brazen for someone to steal a marked police car.”
The man broke the driver’s side window to get inside the car. Besides the broken window, no other damage was done to the car, according to police.
Police tracked the car using in-car technology and located it with the help of Springfield Police.
Carmichael stressed that the in-car technology, originally implemented as an accountability measure, was key to locating the stolen car.
The security camera in the car captured footage of a white male with shaggy dark hair who is around 6 feet tall, according to police. Surveillance video of the suspect can be viewed here.
Police are asking anyone with information to call UOPD at 541-346-2919. Anonymous tips can be left at 541-346-2974.
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