A man says he found his stolen truck on his own in a parking lot off Shallowford Road.

Monday, John Watson woke up to text messages from his neighbors saying his truck was missing from his Northshore home.

“I thought maybe somebody was playing a prank, but low and behold, I did not have a vehicle the next day,” said Watson.

He says his neighborhood is typically safe, and that's why he accidentally left his keys in the truck.

Watson reported the theft to Chattanooga police, and they listed the truck in the National Crime Information Center Database.

He was told it would be a waiting game for the suspect to be caught.

“They had to be pulled over, my plate still had to be on the vehicle, and I knew just this just would not find my vehicle it was going to be happenstance at best,” he said.

Watson and police could not use GPS to locate the vehicle because the suspect took OnStar locating device out of the car.

So, Watson began searching the area. His friend ultimately found his vehicle in the parking lot of Food City on Lee Highway.

The truck was vandalized and several items were missing.

Watson is sharing his story and demanding the suspect to come forward. He says he's upset because he is out of at least a thousand dollars for damages.

“From the front Bull bumper to a Reese hitch in the back,” said Watson. “The mirror was taken off of the windshield. So the windshield is cracked they attempted to remove the side view mirrors the list just goes on and on.”

Watson also believes the car was taken out of the state but, in the end, was returned close to home. 

“Tons of things inside that shows the truck has been in Georgia it's been in North Carolina,” he said. “So it's been way more than 25 minutes away from my house they just happened to return it here.”

Chattanooga police say the responding officer checked surveillance video from nearby businesses, but say there was nothing of substance.

The Chattanooga Police Department spokesperson Elisa Myzal says 785 vehicles were reported stolen from June to November of this year, 238 of those vehicles had keys with the stolen car.

Chattanooga police continue to investigate. 

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