Car stolen as owner pops into Casey’s

SL Police find vehicle, suspect short time later

A man watched his car being stolen from the Casey’s Central store early Sunday morning while he stopped in after leaving the car running outside.

The wrecked car was found and the suspected thief was caught shortly thereafter.

Police were called to the scene at at 825 Flindt Drive at 4:32 a.m. Sunday. Officers met with the victim who said he had pulled into the parking lot of the store and entered the store while leaving his vehicle parked and running.

While in the store the victim saw an unknown person enter his vehicle and drive it away.

Officers searched for the vehicle but could not locate it.

At 6:51 p.m. Monday, police were called to the alley in the 500 block of Lake Avenue where a parking cut out exists at the rear of some buildings on Erie Street.

Police located the vehicle, which they determined to be stolen, from Casey’s.

The vehicle was unoccupied and damaged from an apparent collision with a pole in the alley.

Damage is estimated at $1,000.

Police investigators viewed security video from Casey’s and received information from the Iowa Department of Corrections on a possible suspect in the vehicle theft.

On Tuesday at 3:30 a.m. police responded to 726 Otsego St. and contacted Carlos Tula, 23, of Storm Lake.

After questioning police arrested Tula in connection with the theft and charged him with operation without owners consent.

He was booked in the Buena Vista County Jail on a $2,000 bond.

At 1 p.m. on Tuesday Storm Lake Police executed a search warrant on the 726 Otsego Street address, where police located and seized evidence in connection with the auto theft.

Tula was placed on parole in June of this year on drug related charges.

Storm Lake Police were assisted by the Iowa Department of Corrections.