Kangaroo gas station on Lafayette Road in Rossville

The vehicle theft occurred Oct. 27 at the Kangaroo gas station on Lafayette Road in Rossville. (Catoosa News photo/Adam Cook)

An off-duty police officer had his personal vehicle stolen from a Rossville gas station after he left it unattended in the parking lot with the keys still in it and the engine running, police say.

According to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department, deputies were dispatched to the Kangaroo gas station at 1342 Lafayette Road around 6:30 a.m., shortly after the vehicle was swiped.

The victim, a Hamilton County, Tenn., sheriff's deputy, admitted to leaving his silver 2001 Dodge Durango running in the parking lot and seeing the suspect take off in it.

"He stated that while in the store, he observed a white male with scruffy facial hair, a hat, and a dark hoodie get into the vehicle and leave the service station without permission," deputy Keith Cantrell said. "He stated the subject then headed north on Lafayette Road toward Tennessee."

The victim added that the right front passenger door of the vehicle was an off color tan that didn't match the rest of the vehicle, reports show.

Cantrell says the SUV also has distinctive stickers on the back window.

"He stated that on the back glass of the vehicle is a stick-figure family with approximately seven stick-figure people and one dog," Cantrell said. "He stated that the dad stick-figure was a cop stick-figure."

The vehicle had several tools and electronics in it also, police say.

Anyone with information about the suspect or the whereabouts of the vehicle is encouraged to contact the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department at 706-935-2424.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.