Auto thief runs out of gas

An Argos man took a car out for a test drive and never returned it.

Richard LaFrance III, 19, of Argos was booked into the Kosciusko County Jail on Monday, October 10 for felony auto theft. His bond is set at $5,250.

On August 14, a Marshall County deputy discovered a 2004 silver Cadillac in the roadway, out of gas. The driver, LaFrance, driver’s license was suspended and the vehicle registration was not valid, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained from the Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s office.

LaFrance told police he had left a minivan as collateral to test drive the Cadillac.

A Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department officer was contacted and requested to attempt to talk to the owner of the minivan. When the officer arrived he spoke with the van owner who stated she loaned her minivan to LaFrance and he never returned it.

Officers located the minivan at the residence of the man selling the Cadillac. The owner of the Cadillac told police he has a 2004 silver Cadillac for sale and it is currently being test driven.  The potential buyer, LaFrance, told the man he was going to show the car to his grandmother who would give him money to purchase the vehicle.

The owner of the Cadillac told police he would like to press charges against LaFrance who never brought back his vehicle.

As a result of the traffic stop by the Marshall County deputy, additional charges of possession of stolen property and unlawful possession of a syringe will be filed in Marshall County.