While most Missoulians were getting ready for their morning drive to work last Friday, one resident went out to her car to find it had disappeared. Missoula Police Public information officer Travis Welsh explains.

"It began at about 7:25 a.m. when a woman discovered that her vehicle had been stolen from in front of her residence in the 300 block of University Avenue," Welsh said. "Just shy of three hours later police located that vehicle after an employ of a convenience store called to complain that there was a vehicle matching the description of the one stolen sitting in the back parking lot."

When police arrived they discovered that the vehicle had been running for hours and the prime suspect in the theft case wasn't far away.

"The officers went to the location of the convenience store, which was in the 900 Block of North Orange street where they discovered 28-year-old Matthew Dipinto sleeping inside the vehicle," Welsh said. "The vehicle was running and Mr. Dipinto was slumped over the steering wheel. Officers gained entry into the cab, which was locked and took him into custody without incident."

Dipinto is facing a felony charge for the car theft as well as two misdemeanor charges: one for possession of marijuana that was found on Dipinto’s person and another for failing to appear in municipal court on a prior charge.

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