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Car thief apparently swaps vehicles

A car reported stolen from a Rochester residence Sunday evening has been recovered — but it was found in the place of another stolen vehicle.

The incident began about 7:45 p.m. Sunday, when a caller reported hearing a crash outside a home in the 800 block of 13 1/2 Street Southeast. When the man looked out the window, he saw someone driving away in his car; according to the report, the doors had been unlocked and the keys were in the ignition.

As the car left the driveway, it struck the house, causing minor damage, the report says.

Tuesday morning, employees at Textile Care Services, 225 Woodlake Drive S.E., reported a van had been stolen from inside a garage at the business. In its place was the car that had been reported stolen Sunday night.

The van hasn't been recovered, said Capt. John Sherwin, but a gas card from inside the vehicle may have been used in Stewartville.

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