Internet date allegedly steals Lufkin woman's car to get back home to Houston

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – A 22-year old Lufkin woman is having second thoughts about a man she met on the Internet and invited him home to spend the weekend.

An unnamed female told police she met a man online and agreed to drive to Houston to pick him up and bring him back to her place in Lufkin for the weekend.

She said things turned sour Sunday morning when the man insisted that she take him back to Houston.  She said she refused because he had said he was going to spend "the whole weekend."  She said she had also confronted her weekend guest about $20 dollars missing from her house, which upset him more.

According to the woman, he started to settle down and told her if she wasn't going to take him home, at least let him put his stuff in her car so that when it's time to go we can leave.  She obliged and handed him her car keys but noticed that it was taking him a while to come back inside.  That's when she looked outside only to find both her 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and her date gone.

She said she called his cell phone and he told her not to freak out that he was only going to the store.  But after about 20 to 30 minutes she said she realized he was probably not coming back, so she called police.

She said she had recently purchased the vehicle and the finance company was able to remotely shut the SUV's engine down.  They gave her an approximate location of the vehicle in Houston.  Lufkin police contacted Houston police, however, they were unable to locate the SUV or the driver.

"The car has been entered as stolen," according to Lt. J.B. Smith with the Lufkin Police Department.  "Online dating is as unsafe as meeting someone in a bar and going home with them," Lt. Smith said.  "People should take extra precaution with whom they let into their lives."

Smith said Lufkin and Houston police departments are working together to try to find the missing vehicle and the driver.  And, he said investigators are also following up "to make sure the story checks out completely on this end."

©2010 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.