To catch a car thief in St. Clair county, it might take a billboard

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, IL- A Mascoutah family is going to great lengths and heights to catch a car thief.

There’s an absolute “can’t miss … eye catcher” homemade billboard Highway 161 in unincorporated  Mascoutah. It’s simple and straightforward.  It reads:  Red Car Stolen from here, 3/29 AM, Need Help, Looking for gray Dodge. It includes a number to call with information:  618-540-9996.

That’s the number for the car’s owner, Paul Bretz.

He keeps the car parked at his parent’s house. The 1988 red Ford Mustang has been recovered just north of Downtown St. Louis. It bears the customized hood Paul received as a 21st birthday present years ago. His father, Karl Bretz remembers a young man outside the house in the pouring rain the morning of March 29th.  He claimed to be looking for his dog. Minutes later his wife noticed the car was gone.

“I hear her say, ‘hey Paul’s car’s missing!’  Then it started all clicking,” Karl said. “[The man] seemed like he was in a hurry.  I figured he was out looking for his dog.  Then he went around I thought to the front of the house.  That’s the last I saw of this guy … the last I saw of this guy!”

He later noticed the thief tried to steal his truck, too.  The ignition was broken.  The thief did steal the battery out of it and a nearby trailer.

Phone calls and Facebook responses have been rolling in since the sign when up.

“Quite a bit a lot.  It’s great,” Paul Bretz said. “We hope people learn don’t just sit down and mope around about it just do that little things, like put a sign.” “Actually, that’s a big thing!” said reporter, Andy Banker.

“It’s a very big thing, correct!” said Paul Bretz.

If you have any information call the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department or call that number on the sign.

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.


Latest News

More News