TERRE HAUTE —
An Indiana State Police trooper who stopped a driver reported to be driving eastbound on westbound Cherry Street early Thursday morning found that the car might have been stolen minutes earlier and that the driver might have been intoxicated.
Trooper Brian Thomas said he observed Gage M. Wilson, 21, of Rossville, Ill., driving the wrong way on Cherry near Seventh Street at 1:40 a.m. During the traffic stop, the trooper said, the driver was evasive about ownership of the vehicle and appeared intoxicated. Thomas arrested Wilson for driving under the influence, reportedly with a blood alcohol of 0.21 (the legal limit is 0.08). Wilson was booked into the Vigo County Jail, and the car was impounded.
Shortly after, the Terre Haute Police Department contacted the Indiana State Police and reported it was taking a stolen vehicle report on a car matching the description of the one that had been impounded. The car, a black 2002 Volkswagen Jetta, had been taken from the Terminal Sports Bar parking lot near Ninth Street and Wabash Avenue.
The car keys had been left in the ignition because of a malfunction. Officers believe Wilson happened upon the vehicle, spotted the keys in the ignition and drove away,. He was stopped about two blocks from where the vehicle was stolen.
THPD is conducting the stolen vehicle investigation.