By M.J. Subiria Arauz
A stolen Clayton County Police patrol car was located just hours after it was reported missing from a College Park apartment complex, on March 12.
According to Officer Phong Nguyen, the police cruiser was found at around 8:30 a.m., in a vacant lot off Pine Drive, in College Park. It had been reported stolen earlier that morning.
The recovered Ford Crown Victoria was a mile away from the apartment complex, added Sgt. Otis Willis, a public information officer with the police department.
According to Officer Nguyen, the vehicle was found with its engine running, as well as damage to the driver's door, due to forced entry into the patrol car, and damage to the outside of the trunk, caused by an attempt to gain entry.
The vehicle had no weapons inside it "at all," said Willis.
Nguyen said that on March 11, at around 7 p.m., the police officer parked his vehicle at an apartment complex on Riverdale Road, in College Park.
Willis said on March 12, between 5:30, and 6 a.m., the officer discovered that the was car missing. For security purposes, Willis said, he could not release the name of the complex.
"He is a courtesy officer at an apartment complex on Riverdale Road," said Willis, in answer to the question of why the office was at the complex.
"We noticed that he [police officer] immediately notified the Clayton County Police Department," said Nguyen.
Willis said the police department released a public safety broadcast about the incident to police agencies located in counties surrounding Clayton County.
When asked if patrol cars are equipped with an alarm, or tracking device, Willis said, "For security purposes, we cannot provide that information."