Lisa Paulson has her Ford Escape back tonight thanks in part to modern tracking technology but mostly due to her sister's chutzpah.
Paulson woke up Tuesday morning to find her Escape stolen right out of her driveway. After contacting police, who basically told her there wasn't much they could do, she called EZ-Pass to cancel her account, her sister, Kathleen O'Connell, reports. "Oh, well, that's funny," the woman at EZPass said - the car had just gone through the tolls on the Tobin Bridge.
O'Connell says at that point she figured the car was somewhere in Chelsea. Further confirmation came when a woman from Chelsea called Paulson yesterday to ask why she'd dumped a bunch of papers on a street there; she hadn't of course, the thieves had.
O'Connell says that when her sister went to retrieve her papers, she also found a smashed GPS nearby. It wasn't hers, but she took it as possible evidence - and then called the manufacturer to ask how to hook it up to a computer to retrieve its route information. And that showed it last reported being about a block away from where the papers were.
O'Connell told her sister she was going to go get her Escape back. She explains her sister and her husband both work full time, they have two kids in school, they need that ride.
So O'Connell grabbed her sister's key fob and friend Alyssa Santoro and they drove over to Chelsea. They started near where the papers and GPS wound up, on Crescent Street. Nothing.
For 45 minutes they slowly drove the streets of Chelsea, the friend constantly pressing the horn-alarm button. "We went up and down, up and down, up and down," she says "All of a sudden, we went down the street and 'beep, beep, beep,' it was right next to us."
O'Connell says she immediately jumped out of her car and into her sister's. She started it up, and floored it, racing away before she'd even turned on the lights.
Wasn't she worried if the thieves came out?
"It took me less than three seconds," she said. "I'm jumping out and jumping in her car. It happens so fast, I didn't even have a second to think."
She adds, "They had fresh air fresheners, blunt rappers,bags of weed, iPhone wires. They planned on keeping it."
Once safely back in Winthrop, O'Connell drove to the police station to report the SUV found. "You did what?!?" the police officer she talked to asked. "I think you're in the wrong profession."
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