Thieves get state senator's 2002 Lincoln

Thursday, February 26, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- State Sen. Ken Jacob's campaign for lieutenant governor suffered a setback when someone stole his car and the good suits it contained.

The Democrat from Columbia said his car was stolen while he was in St. Louis on Thursday to attend a fund raiser for his campaign.

Jacob -- the Senate minority leader and a St. Louis native -- said he locked his car and ran into a downtown hotel to register, his car parked on the street and his keys in his hand.

And poof, it was gone.

"It was surreal," Jacob said.

Because he was traveling around the state for a number of campaign-related events, he said, "I had all my good clothes in the car. It was so packed that there was only room for me."

He called the 2002 Lincoln the first nice car he'd ever really purchased.

In addition to custom-made suits, whoever took the car made off with his blood pressure medication, a large framed print of the state Capitol he'd gotten as a gift earlier in the day and a white leather cowboy hat that a women's group had just given him.

He saw a friend from Columbia dining across the street, who offered to give Jacob a ride home.

Jacob then packed some basics and flew back to St. Louis for an event Friday morning.

Despite Jacob's experience, an anti-crime police task force commissioned last summer to slow the number of auto thefts in St. Louis cut the crime's frequency over the final three months of 2003, police said this month.

Police records showed a vehicle was stolen in St. Louis every 52 minutes in last year's final quarter, when the task force was operating. That compares with one stolen every 46 minutes in 2002's final quarter and every 44 minutes in the first nine months of 2003, before the crackdown.

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