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Man's car stolen while warming up, found a block away at neighbor's home

NOW: Man’s car stolen while warming up, found a block away at neighbor’s home

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – A Mishawaka man chased down a woman who stole his car this weekend. Kyle Willard says he left his vehicle unattended to warm up on Saturday afternoon. He was inside his home for about a minute when his wife watched a woman drive off in his vehicle. He ran outside and realized his car was only about a block down the road, parked in front of his neighbor’s home.

“Ran down there, no shoes, just socks. I mean, I needed my car back.” Willard said.

When he was approaching, he noticed his car was empty. That’s when he saw 32-year-old Amanda Rector walking out of a home toward his vehicle. It turns out, the accused thief lives on the same street.

“As she sees me, she runs toward the car even quicker. And gets in and locks me out of my own vehicle.” Willard explained.

Since it wasn’t her car, she didn’t realize the power locks on the back passenger side don’t always work. Willard opened that back door and climbed over his kids’ booster seats to confront Rector.

“So I was able to get in the car and force her out of it.” He said.

At that point, Willard says Rector simply went back into her home where police found her shortly after.

“We got lucky with a lot of things that happened. Because a lot of people do not get their cars back.” She said.

Mishawaka police say they see an increase in car thefts during the winter because of people warming up their cars unattended. MPD says people should simply stay close to their vehicles while they’re running. If you have a remote started, be aware that some thieves may break a window to get into a running vehicle.

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