State Police cruiser stolen from South Boston; recovered after Arlington resident reported odd incident

WCVB reports a State Police cruiser stolen from a state lot on D Street South Boston this morning showed up, abandoned, around 12:45 p.m. at Twin City Plaza in Somerville.

On the Arlington List, a Facebook group for residents of that town, one resident reported an odd occurrence around noon:

A few minutes ago, a state police cruiser (one person in the vehicle) stopped asked me where is Davis Square, or Somerville, or Cambridge, while I was watering our garden near Park Circle. It is strange to me that a police has to ask me for directions. It raised a flag for me...

And, yes, all you grumpy cranks who assume every last person who posts something on the tweeters and the MyFaces is a moron, the resident did report the incident to police, so save yourself some keystrokes before fulminating in the comments here.

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Other Arlington residents reported odd and erratic behavior, too

From the same Facebook thread, several other observations:

"I was driving down Mass ave a while ago when a state police SUV sped by and was driving erratic near Stop and Shop and was weaving in/out of traffic with NO lights on"

" I watched a state police SUV swerve past another driver on Mass Ave going like 45 this afternoon - no lights on. Thought it was weird, this is definitely a hot car."

"This SUV went up on the sidewalk to pass me while waiting to take a left turn on Broadway this morning. Almost hit a pedestrian, luckily she had just stepped off the curb, then they went flying towards the center"

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Odd and erratic?

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Except for having the state police logo painted on the car, that doesn't seem too much of an outlier for a local SUV driver.

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every time

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I see police pull over and leave the cruiser unattended and idling, I wonder how often this stuff happens. Surely, no one is stupid enough to steal one...but then stuff like this happens.

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Somebody got sloppy at the lot

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There are probably two dozen regs and procedures regarding securing vehicles, but I'm betting that a bunch of special people chose to ignore them out of convenience, believing that the special aura of policeness would surely prevent an opportunist from noticing that the keys were always placed in a a particular location in the cruisers, and the cruisers left unlocked.

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Many police vehicles allow

Many police vehicles allow the officer to remove the ignition key while allowing the engine to continue running to power the electronics. The car cannot be driven, however, until the key is put back into the ignition.

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How the hay did the thief

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manage to get from South Boston to Cambridge/Somerville (by way of Artlington!) without being stopped? This is some of the most densely populated and urban areas in metro Boston, luckily no one was hurt or killed. And don't cruisers have some kind of alarm/gps device that goes off when anyone unauthorized takes it for a spin around the block?

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anti-theft devices

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Most of these vehicles have hidden additional anti-theft devices. Even if they are left running, with the door open, it is not as easy as jumping in, and shifting into drive. That is only if the hidden switch is activated.

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