Stolen car turns up in WC garage

‘Someone called the cops because a car that was not theirs was parked in their garage’

With a temperature of -20 degrees Fahrenheit, more people were out starting their cars and letting them warm up Wednesday morning.

Danny Baessler, advertising consultant at The Daily Freeman-Journal, did just that when he started his 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe parked in front of the newspaper office at about 10:15 a.m.

But when he came back outside after a quick trip back inside the office, he noticed the vehicle was no longer in its space.

“I put my jacket on and went outside,” Baessler said. “It was gone — in a matter of three minutes.”

At first, he thought it was a prank.

“I asked a few people in the office if they moved my car and were messing with me,” Baessler said. “But they weren’t.”

Baessler said another employee at the Freeman-Journal was parked next to his vehicle.

“She had her car next to mine and she left,” he said. “She said my car was there when she left. So either somebody was watching and saw or they just happened to have walked by.”

He reported the car stolen to the Webster City Police Department Wednesday morning.

Baessler said he doesn’t typically let his car warm up, but with the extreme cold weather he decided to fire up the engine.

“Most of the time I don’t start my car,” he said. “When I am at work I usually don’t go out and start the car, but with it being -20 degrees — that was the only reason, with it being so cold. I might as well let it get warm for three or four minutes before I take off.”

He added, “If it were 10 or 20 degrees out I probably wouldn’t have started it.”

Baessler said the most valuable items in the vehicle were car seats for his two children.

Wednesday night, a vehicle matching the description was reportedly found in a garage.

“Apparently, someone called the cops because a car that was not their’s was parked in their garage,” Baessler said. “I asked if there were keys in the ignition and there were not. I only had one set. I’ll have to get it rekeyed.”

Baessler said the car was apparently found at a home not too far from the Freeman-Journal offices.

The police officer told Baessler that as far as he could tell, there weren’t any dents, scratches, or scrapes on the car.