RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)- A couple went on an unforgettable first date in Richmond that ended with a stolen car, but surveillance video captured the theft.
Nadine Paul and John Gay wanted a chance to get to know one another. Paul said Gay had recently traveled from Northern Virginia to see her.
After a night out in Scott’s Addition, Gay parked his car in a covered lot at The Preserve at Scott’s Addition apartment complex. However, the next morning he grabbed the keys to a missing car that wasn’t in its original parking space.
“We thought it was interesting that he still had his keys,” said Paul.
His dark blue Ford Explorer is named Maria.
They initially thought a towing company moved his car, but quickly realized it was worse than that.
“We saw a guy just kind of ransacking all of the cars that were in the covered parking area and just looking for a car to pick up,” Paul said.
The apartment complex’s surveillance camera captured the thief walking around different cars and eventually driving away in Gay’s vehicle.
“We were just in shock. I’ve never known anybody to have their car stolen,” Paul said.
After noticing the car was missing, they notified Richmond police and filed a report. Officers said sometimes people can create makeshift key fobs and test them on different push-to-start vehicles. Once the engine is running, thieves can drive away in them.
“I was just really angry. I know that people are probably really desperate right now and it just sucks because we weren’t really expecting that,” Paul said.
While their first date didn’t end on a high note, the hope is the car will soon be located.
“I hope that they were able to get what they needed, but I just hope that if they still have it they could leave it somewhere and give a tip because we really would like to have the car back,” Paul said.
According to her, law enforcement authorities are conducting a statewide search for the car.
Police are still trying to identify the thief captured on the video.
Paul said they are offering $1,000 to anyone who can give information that leads to the location of the car.