The Case Of The Missing Squad Car

Hear the one about the police car stolen at a Jane’s Addiction / Nine Inch Nails show? Although the squad car was recovered, no one has “been caught stealing.”

The caper happened at Friday Night’s gig at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., after a police officer left the keys in the squad car – a black-and-white Ford Crown Victoria – while working crowd control at the concert.

“A staff member at the concert saw the car sort of speeding and showboating up and down the boulevard, and thought it was a young person at the wheel,” Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie told the San Francisco Chronicle. “But this staffer couldn’t tell if it was a girl or a boy driving.”

Police searched for the missing patrol car all through the weekend, and finally found it two days later tucked away in an apartment parking garage only a couple of miles from the venue.

“The entire Bay Area was looking for it, so we knew that if it was in Mountain View, it was out of sight,” Wylie said.

Sure ‘nuff, the police car, which contained a shotgun as well as about $50,000 worth of computers and equipment, was recovered from the parking garage Sunday.

According to Wylie, nothing was missing from the vehicle. Wylie also said police were “processing the car for physical evidence” such as fingerprints in hopes of identifying the bandit.

Evidently, whoever swiped the police car didn’t travel very far. According to MapQuest, the distance between the Shoreline Amphitheatre and the parking garage where the car was recovered is a little under three miles.

But then, how far could anyone drive a stolen police car? Especially one that every police force in the San Francisco Bay Area was on the lookout for?