Thief makes clean getaway with Spokane woman's car

Inside-N-Out Hand Wash sign

A car thief took a woman to the cleaners, at the car wash. The victim was getting her car detailed at a North Spokane car wash facility when it was stolen.

"It was my baby," the victim Roberta Burger said. "I called it the Tank in the winter because it could go anywhere."

Unfortunately, anywhere includes off with a thief.

"I would never dream somebody would come along and steal (my) car," she said.

The Inside-N-Out Hand Wash has signs up instructing customers to leave their keys in the ignition. Employees then drive it into the cleaning area where it can be detailed. The owner told KHQ's Hayley Guenthner a theft has only occurred one other time in roughly 30 years.

"There was a guy lurking around out here," she said. "He just slipped in, and took it."

Roberta said she didn't think twice about leaving her keys in the ignition. She said all the customers around her were doing it and there didn't seem to be a threat. She then went to wait inside. After several minutes went by, she knew something was very wrong.

"Thieves are sneaky and fast," she said.

Her silver 2006 Chrysler 300 was gone. Roberta said she was crushed.

She said the owner apologized profusely. He told Hayley Guenthner he has security upgrades in place to hopefully prevent something like this from ever happening again. That includes both new cameras and fencing around the property.

Roberta just hopes he experience will motivate others to think twice before ever obeying instructions to leave your keys inside your vehicle.

"We've all done it, but you never know who's around you or who's watching," she said.

If you have any information on Roberta's case, please call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233. 

(story and photo: Hayley Guenthner, KHQ Local News Anchor & Reporter,

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