ELIZABETHTOWN — For the sake of convenience, Joan Crane brought her car to the Sunoco station here on Sunday, a day ahead of an appointment to have the brakes checked.
Her 2006 Hyundai Tucson was stolen sometime Sunday, police say.
Proprietor Richie Rich found a Plexiglas panel smashed in one of his garage doors and guesses that's how the burglar got in.
The person snatched the keys to Crane's car and maybe about $25 in cash, too, Rich said.
The station, located at the intersection of routes 9 and 9N, closed for the day at around 3 p.m. Sunday, and it was estimated that entry was made sometime between then and that evening.
'WRONG SIDE OF ROAD'
Later Sunday, Vermont State Police in Rutland spotted a car moving along on the wrong side of Route 4 and pulled it over.
Behind the wheel was Jason Wickline, 40, of Massachusetts, according to New York State Police Troop B Public Information Officer Trooper Jennifer Fleishman.
When he couldn't prove ownership of the Hyundai, she said, Vermont Police called Crane.
So at about 10 p.m. Sunday, the Elizabethtown woman learned her car was in Vermont, stolen.
That's about when Rich found out his garage had had a break-in.
Wickline was charged with third-degree grand larceny and third-degree burglary, both felonies.
He may also face charges of operating a vehicle in a malicious manner and operating a vehicle without consent, Fleishman said.
Wickline was being held on $25,000 bond, with a court appearance in Rutland scheduled for Monday afternoon.
Often, perpetrators of a crime don't seem to think about the problems that might be caused to victims by their actions.
Crane, in her mid 60s, had been recently hospitalized twice with a collapsed lung and respiratory failure complicated by a bout of pneumonia.