Napping thief nabbed on Highway 11

Police urge weary drivers to get off the road and take a break rather than risk falling asleep behind the wheel

Police urge weary drivers to get off the road and take a break rather than risk falling asleep behind the wheel, but this advice didn’t work out as expected for a 39-year-old Red Deer man, who was caught sleeping on the side of Highway 11 in a stolen car.

Police received a 911 call from Aspen Ford around 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 27, reporting that a 2013 Ford Taurus had been stolen from the No Frills parking lot where a car sale has been ongoing.

The car had last been seen at 7 p.m. on Friday. During the report, the sales representative noted that a man had been looking at an F-150 pick-up truck and had seemed suspicious.

Further, while completing an application for credit, the man had stood near a table in the office on which rested the keys to several of the lot’s vehicles.

At the end of the sales shift, it was noted that one of the Taurus’ keys were missing, so staff used a secondary key to lock the vehicle while closing up for the night. The next morning, the car was gone.

It didn’t take long for Stettler RCMP to begin to track the vehicle, as the alleged thief had made some questionable driving decisions and had come to the attention of the Blackfalds RCMP.

Police there found the Taurus parked near the Joffre turn-off on Highway 11, where it was causing a traffic hazard on the side of the road.

The driver was found sleeping within, and was unable to provide ownership or insurance. The driver also matched the description of the suspiciously behaving man from the day before.

The 39-year-old Red Deer man has been charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000.