79-year-old Belleville woman gets stolen car back, but it needs work
Margaret Loepker seems most aggravated that the man accused of stealing her 2004 Oldsmobile Alero this week threw away the daisy stickers that adorned both sides of her vehicle.
The 79-year-old Belleville woman said the last time she had driven her car was Feb. 11. She discovered it missing only when her daughter, Kathleen Loepker, came to visit her Wednesday evening at her senior apartment complex.
“I didn’t look out my window, or I could have seen part of my car, and I didn’t know it was gone,” Margaret Loepker said. “I’ve learned (Friday) that possibly it was taken Tuesday.”
Police say the 52-year-old man who stole her car led area police on a chase Thursday night that began at 74th Street, then continued on to Illinois 15, Interstate 255 and then to Illinois 3 before the car broke down.
On Friday at Johnston Towing, Kathleen Loepker said her mother’s car was no longer in running condition.
“When she goes to the doctor, she uses it,” she said. “She takes some of the people in the building out to eat, and she goes to Carlyle to visit her family and friends.”
The two said the man accused of stealing the car left a beer, blankets, a pillow, a backpack and some half-eaten fast food inside it.
Kathleen Loepker was having the car towed Friday to her home, where the family will work on getting the vehicle in running condition. The passenger-side window was smashed and covered in plastic.
“She is just delighted to have her car back. It may not be worth much, but it’s worth everything to her,” Kathleen Loepker said.
Margaret Loepker added, “A car is important when you rely on it.”