Retrieved stolen car held camera

Getting back into her car the day after it was allegedly stolen, Norrisa Ahlgren realized the thieves left behind a clue when they took her Nissan Maxima out for a joy ride this weekend … a disposable camera.

Intrigued, Ahlgren developed the film, only to realize from the photographs that she could identify the location of the property and its resident.

Ahlgren’s car, which disappeared Saturday night, was at her mechanic’s house in Kapa‘a when it was allegedly stolen. Police attempted to stop the reported thieves for driving it without lights on, but the suspects failed to stop. A chase ensued and two men ditched the car and hopped a Coco Palms fence to escape.

No arrests have been made in the case and the person who Ahlgren believes stole her car has since moved out of his home, a point of frustration for her, she said.

Ahlgren said she gave copies of the photographs to the Kaua‘i Police Department Sunday after they had called her about her car Saturday. But when she called police again to follow up, there was no paper trail indicating she had added the photographic evidence to the file, she said.

“They had me sign a piece of paper that I turned over evidence,” Ahlgren said, noting that when she called later that day to follow up, she felt as if she were starting the process all over again.

“I was told the night guys don’t handle the day reports and that there’s not enough manpower for day guys to follow up on night reports,” Ahlgren said.

Despite telling Ahlgren that, the officer who took her call, Taddy Ranson, called the suspected thief’s cell phone, she said. However, when Ranson called the suspect, he hung up and then turned his phone off, Ahlgren said.

Though members of the Kaua‘i Police Department couldn’t comment on the case, because it is under investigation, they did confirm that it has been transferred from the Patrol Services Bureau to the Investigative Services Bureau.

Ahlgren’s mechanic, Joseph Lavery, said when he confronted the man, he denied taking the car and said he had been robbed. Whether the disposable camera was part of the thieves abandoned loot remains unclear, however, the man disappeared shortly after that conversation, Lavery said.

• Amanda C. Gregg, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or agregg@kauaipubco.com.

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