Austin man finds his stolen car parked in his neighborhood

  • Erica Coleman, CPD handout.
Erica Coleman, CPD handout.
March 06, 2014|By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas | RedEye

After an Austin man's Buick was stolen last month, he borrowed his mother's car and drove around his West Side neighborhood looking for it, sometimes pointing and clicking the key to his missing car at neighbors' garages.

A month later, he got lucky, according to county prosecutors, and found his car parked on an Austin street with new plates and a new Vehicle Identification Number.

Police officers arrested Erica Coleman, of the 7100 block of South Cornell Avenue, whose name is tied to the new VIN number on the car, Wednesday, and charged her with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. The police report says Coleman knew the car's "true" VIN had been replaced with a tag belonging to a 1999 Buick Regal titled to her name.

Coleman was arrested, county prosecutors said, after she went to the police station at 3151 W. Harrison St. to report that her car was stolen.

Coleman was brought to the Cook County Criminal Courthouse on Thursday afternoon and was ordered held on a $50,000 bond.

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