PORTLAND, Ore. — So far this year, crooks have stolen 3,831 cars in the city of Portland, according to the latest Portland Police Bureau stats. Odds are, only one of those cars was recovered with a camera containing selfies of people who might have stolen it.
In August, someone stole Joe Williams’ 1995 Jeep Cherokee from outside his home on Southeast Harrison Street.
"We were so sad," said Williams' 16-year-old daughter, Sam. "I'd just gotten my license and hadn't even had a chance to drive it yet."
Joe Williams filed a police report. A few days later, an officer called and said they'd found the Jeep a couple miles away. The engine was still running, the windshield wipers were on, and so was the heater.
"It had a full tank of gas when they stole it," Joe Williams said. "It came back almost empty."
It also came back with a disposable camera, which Sam had left in the glove box.
"I'd been wanting to get it developed for a while because me and my friends had been taking pictures on it all summer," Sam said.
She finally got around to it this week.
"I said, 'Dad, you're never going to guess what's on the camera!'" Sam said.
There were two photos showing strangers sitting in the stolen Jeep. One photo was taken by a woman of herself standing in front of the Jeep, her mouth gaped open. The other photo showed two men sitting in the front seats of the Jeep. The Williams family didn't recognize them and police have not named them as suspects. Even so, Sam Williams has her suspicions.
"How stupid can you be to keep pictures of yourself in the car that you stole?" she said.
Joe Williams posted the mysterious pictures on social media hoping someone might recognize them.
"I'm like, 'Let's find these guys!'" he said. "Maybe just tell them to not steal cars. Start with that."