'Stranded' woman steals new car from Columbia man who offered help She goes to apartment, asks to use phone and apparently takes the keys

October 08, 1998|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A woman knocked on William Barbour's front door and asked to use his telephone. She also pleaded for a glass of water.

Then she stole Barbour's new car.

About 1 p.m. Tuesday, a woman described as being in her 20s, wearing a jeans jacket and jeans told Barbour that she was stranded and needed to call her father, according to Barbour and Howard County police.

Barbour led the woman inside his Columbia apartment and let her use a phone in his kitchen. When he turned to pour her a glass of water, the woman apparently took his car keys from the counter, police say.

The woman politely left. A few minutes later, Barbour discovered that his 1998 Chrysler Sebring had vanished from its parking spot.

"It just took a split second," said Barbour, a 63-year-old retiree. "The car was my passion. I waited a number of years to buy that. I nearly exploded."

Barbour immediately called authorities and reported the theft.

"I was trying to be helpful," he said.

Police are looking for his steel gray Chrysler Sebring with tags 704BDD. They ask that anyone with information call 410-313-3700.

Pub Date: 10/08/98

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