CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- It's something police warn people all of the time, don't leave your keys in your car with your vehicle unlocked. Well, that exact thing led to a Mercedes being stolen and the alleged culprit being found in a hotel utility closet.
Cedar Rapids Police say before 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, the owner of a Mercedes-Benz had his car running in the 5400 block of Center Point Road Northeast. Witnesses saw Derek Triplett, 33, driving the car a few blocks away on North Towne Court Northeast.
A short time later, police found the Mercedes on Interstate 380 driving southbound. Police say Triplett took the Wilson Avenue exit and started a chase with officers. He led them to an embankment near Los Compadres which Triplett drove off before getting out of his vehicle and running toward the Quality Inn on 33rd Avenue.
Officers and the K9 unit searched the hotel, finding Triplett in a utility closet.
No one was injured, but the Mercedes is damaged.
Triplett is charged with theft and several traffic violations. He also had warrants out for his arrest.