A Missoula woman who recently had her car stolen tracked down her vehicle in the 2200 block of West Broadway on Monday. Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains what happened when police showed up.

"When police arrived, they encountered a group of people, one of whom identified herself as the owner of a vehicle that was at the center of the disturbance," Welsh said. "She claimed that the vehicle had been stolen the night before and that they had spotted it on the street yesterday morning and followed it to the current location. They had detained a male driver and called 911. to be the vehicles owner."

Less than five months ago, Missoula police arrested 28-year-old Jay Vallejo for theft and felony drug possession after he was caught in a stolen car with meth. This arrest turned out to be eerily similar.

"Officers conducted a street interview with the driver who was identified as 28-year old Jay Vallejo and subsequently arrested him for the theft of the car as well as for possession of dangerous drugs after it discovered that he had a syringe filled with what appeared to be methamphetamine in his pants pocket," Welsh said.

Though similar, there are some major differences with this arrest. The vehicle Vallejo was accused of stealing in September was a 1991 Honda Accord, which was valued at under $1,500, so he just faced a misdemeanor theft charge. This time, Vallejo was riding in a 2016 Toyota Corolla and will be facing felony theft charges. When he was at the jail, it was discovered that the boots Vallejo was wearing were also stolen, so he is still getting a misdemeanor theft charge this go-around.

Photo courtesy of Missoula Jail
Photo courtesy of Missoula Jail


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