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Vehicle Stolen From Utica Church Parking Lot

Vehicle stolen from Utica on Monday recovered hours later in Pennsylvania.

A vehicle was stolen from parking lot on Van Dyke Avenue in Utica on Monday while the vehicle owner ran into the church to pick up her children.

The victim, a 41-year-old woman, told police she parked her 2010 Dodge Journey in the north parking lot of Trinity Lutheran around 3:30 p.m.

The woman said she left the keys along with her purse in the unlocked vehicle as she dashed into the church to pick up her children.

A witness told police she was in the parking lot and saw the woman park the SUV and go into the church.

The witness said she saw a man, who she described as in his 40s and balding, standing by the parked SUV and then get into it and drive off the lot.

The witness ran into the church to tell the victim that her vehicle had been stolen. Inside the vehicle, the victim had left her purse, which contained her wallet, credit cards, cash, the keys to her home and an iPod.

Just before 10 p.m. the Perrysburg, PA, police notified that they had recovered the stolen vehicle and a 40-year-old man was in custody.

Police said there was no damage to the stolen vehicle and the victim's purse and belongings were still inside.

For questions on the police blotter, email marina.cracchiolo@patch.com.

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