Stolen car left unlocked, running found abandoned in middle of road, damaged

MADISON, Wis. - A car stolen New Year's Eve when it was left unlocked and running was found Wednesday morning abandoned in the middle of a street, police said.

Madison police officers were called around 1:15 a.m. to the 200 block of North Thompson Drive after the car was found in the middle of the street, according to a release.

The gas tank was empty and the interior smelled like marijuana, police said. Someone had burned letters into the upholstery and there was damage to the front bumper and left back panel of the car.

A spare tire was on one of the car’s rims, the headrests, rearview mirror and glove box had been removed and were in the trunk, and there was a temporary Wisconsin license plate taped to the back window instead of the victim’s license plates, police said.

The car was stolen Dec. 31 when a 38-year-old Swanton Drive resident left it unlocked and running as she went inside to get a shopping list, according to the release.

The woman had purchased the car for $18,000 and was still making payments, police said.

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