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Oregon chief’s wife learns not to leave keys in car

SHARE Oregon chief’s wife learns not to leave keys in car

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Leaving keys in the car isn't a good idea, even when it's parked at the governor's house.

Gov. John Kitzhaber's wife, Sharon, learned that lesson over the weekend when the couple's leased Mercury Grand Marquis was found badly dented, wedged between a stop sign and a light pole at the end of an exit ramp that runs through the middle of the city.

A man who appeared disoriented was seen grabbing items from the back seat of the late-model vehicle when a tow truck driver, Michael Block, drove past early Saturday and shined his flashlight at him, police said.

The man asked Block for a ride out of town. Instead, the tow truck driver alerted his dispatcher, and the man walked off.

The car, which the first lady drives for official business, was last used Friday, said Bob Applegate, the governor's spokesman.

She had left the car unlocked in the driveway of their home in the West Hills near the Oregon Zoo, Applegate said.

The Kitzhabers didn't know the vehicle was missing, but they reported it stolen as soon as they were notified it had been found, police said.