Homeless advocate Bea Gaddy allowed one of her volunteers to take the car she uses for emergency food deliveries from her East Baltimore food pantry for the first time Saturday to run an errand by himself -- but the man never returned the car.
Ms. Gaddy's son, Michael Brooks, found the 1984 cream-colored Oldsmobile station wagon yesterday morning, parked 14 blocks from her North Collington Street soup kitchen.
Not only had the volunteer bought the Freon that Ms. Gaddy wanted, but he also filled the tank with gas.
"He just flew the coop," Ms. Gaddy said. "I never sent him by himself before. He has been volunteering with us off and on.
"I thought I knew him well. Evidently not. I just wish he would return the keys because changing the locks in the ignition is expensive."
Ms. Gaddy said the car was not damaged.
Ms. Gaddy said she sent the man out to buy Freon for the car's air conditioner about 6:30 Saturday night.
At 9:30 yesterday morning, she called police and filed a theft report.
Meanwhile, her 29-year-old son and his friend, Andrew Stokes, drove around the volunteer's neighborhood looking for the car.
They found it about 11:30 a.m. at the corner of Aisquith and Orleans streets.
Ms. Gaddy said she owns two cars and a van that she uses to deliver food and pick up people to take to her soup kitchen.