SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Although the license plates are gone, and the interior smells like cigarette smoke, a black Toyota Camry is back with its rightful owner, along with some unexpected extras.
"There were receipts for Stake N Shake, receipts for Fast and Friendly, Little Debbie Cakes, donut holes. Like, they had a little party in my car while I was working," explained Taylor Buttry, the owner of the vehicle.
Buttry just finished working a 12-hour shift when she discovered her car had been stolen from Mercy's parking lot. Police later found the auto at the corner of Primrose St. and Campbell Ave., in south Springfield. While the culprit who swiped her car left trash inside, several valuables were ripped off.
"My laptop was taken out of my car, and I had a .38 revolver," Buttry said. "It's a Smith & Wesson with a pink handle, it was taken, and a couple of Littmann Stethoscopes."
Also taken were nursing school papers with Buttry's name on them. Since the documents weren't worth anything to the culprit, they were tossed. A stranger messaged Buttry to say she found the notes right by another stolen vehicle. A man's wallet was discovered inside the stolen truck, and the picture on the driver's license appeared to be the same man caught on camera earlier. "This person was seen on surveillance in the Mercy parking lot, in different cars, doing different things," Buttry said.
Police are investigating to see if the ID belongs to the thief and to determine whether that same man could be linked to more stolen autos. While officers discovered the man doesn't live at the address listed on his license anymore, it's still a strong lead.
"Just putting two and two together, you would think, you know, he threw my things out there, he stole a truck there, his ID is there, he used to live there, it could very well be him," Buttry declared.
There's one more twist to this tale: the thief left a key to a MINI Cooper and some textbooks in Buttry's Camry that likely belong to yet another victim; she said, "They're not mine. So, if they're anybody's, please let me know."
If it turns out the driver's license ends up belonging to the thief, Buttry has some advice. "I'm not a criminal, but I would definitely try not to drop my identification--if it were me."
Ky3 blurred the picture, name, and address on the driver's license shown in the video accompanying the web report because no one has been arrested or charged in connection with this case. However, the name on the license is linked to a criminal history.