We’ve all heard of the old “move the car” prank, right? While someone isn’t paying attention, you grab their keys, hop in their car and move it somewhere close by. Well, a sheriff in Michigan recently believed he’d been the victim of that prank — but his vehicle had actually been stolen.
Sheriff Greg Zyburt of Marquette County got up early so he could take part in a radio interview, and after he was done, he went outside to find his truck was not where he left it. He checked for his keys and found them on his belt, right where they should be. Since his keys weren’t gone, he logically assumed his deputies were messing with him.
Zyburt called a lieutenant to ask where they’d moved his truck, and the lieutenant had no idea what he was talking about. However, as they were talking, dispatch reported a marked police vehicle being found in a ditch nearby.
“You can’t make this stuff up,” the department wrote in a Facebook post about the incident.
Upon arriving on the scene, a tracking K-9 named Deja located a suspect in a restroom at a boat launch in the area. The suspect was taken into custody and charged with unlawfully driving away an automobile.
Police said the suspect admitted to finding an extra set of keys inside the truck, but it’s not clear how the suspect got into the vehicle in the first place — the department’s Facebook post said the sheriff recalled locking the doors before conducting his interview.
However, whoever wrote the post seemed to think the sheriff must not be remembering correctly, and they used this bizarre story as an opportunity to send a message to others.
“Lesson of the day: If it can happen to the sheriff, it can happen to you. Lock your vehicles,” the post said.
If we’re handing out lessons, here’s another one: If you have a backup set of keys, don’t leave them in your vehicle.
As seen in the December 2020 issue of American Police Beat magazine.
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