Former North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer learned a lesson about his car keys after his vehicle was stolen as he hosted a Fargo radio show.
Schafer was guest hosting KFGO’s “News and Views” program Friday morning. During a break, police reportedly called the station to ask whether he owned a 2020 GMC Yukon… the make and model of a vehicle apparently stolen out of the station’s parking lot.
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Schafer told KGFO, “I was on-air and the receptionist came in and said, ‘the police are on the line. Do you own a 2020 Yukon?’ I said, ‘yes,’ and she said, ‘it was stolen and they have it.'”
The thief apparently drove it to a probation office and surrendered to authorities. “A criminal, obviously. Someone who needed a ride. They stole the car and took it over to the Parole and Probation Office and turned themselves in,” Schafer said.
The vehicle has a push-button start feature and requires a key fob to be in the vehicle before it can be operated. But Schafer had left a spare fob inside, enabling the thief to start it up and drive off.
The former governor says he’s been warned about being more careful.
“My wife for 31 years has said, ‘Why don’t you lock your car?’” Schafer said.
Schafer was elected governor in 1992, and he served two four-year terms, declining to run for a third time. He also worked as U.S. secretary of agriculture in 2008 and 2009, for the final year of former President George W. Bush’s administration. Two days after arriving at USDA, Schafer presided over the largest meat recall in U.S. history.
A machine enthusiast, Schafer remains known as a one-time contestant on television’s Junkyard Wars.
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The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article.