MINNEAPOLIS — When Phil Westover opened his garage door last weekend to find his car missing, at first he thought it was a prank.
“I was just astonished it was stolen,” Westover said.
He had found himself a victim of a crime that is way up this year around the Twin Cities. Auto theft.
In St. Paul, car thefts are up 11% so far this year. In Minneapolis, they’re up 41%. That’s 787 more car thefts than this time last year.
In Bloomington, where Phil lives, police told him stolen cars usually turn up, and that they’d call him.
“Sure enough, two days later, the called and said, hey, we’ve ‘found’ your car,” Westover said.
“Found it” in Robbinsdale, crashed into an apartment building after a chase with police. The three suspects got away. When Phil checked out the car at the impound lot, he was surprised to see the amount of effort the thieves gave to disguise the car.
“They took the license plates off the car and replaced them with dealer plates,” Westover said.