PALM BEACH, Fla. – A 17-year-old boy faces a grand theft auto charge after he stole a Mercedes-Benz belonging to Jimmy Buffet after the singer left his keys in the car, police said.
According to a Palm Beach police report, Buffett's personal representative, Darin Hinson, alerted them to the theft, which occurred sometime between 10 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Hinson told police Buffett returned home Tuesday night and parked in the driveway, leaving the keys in the car.
Using the global positioning system in the car, police were able to track the Mercedes to a gas station in Riviera Beach and then south on Interstate 95 to another gas station in Lake Worth.
A Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputy was the first to arrive at the gas station and found the stolen car parked outside.
The keys to the Mercedes were resting on the front right tire of a Dodge Caravan parked next to it, police said.
Standing next to the van was Michael Hardy, who was seen on surveillance video at the Riviera Beach gas station driving the stolen car, police said.
Hardy was taken to the Palm Beach Police Department for questioning, where he admitted to trading drugs for the car, police said.
Hardy told police he exchanged $100 worth of crack cocaine that he cut to make it look like $200 worth so he could get the car. Hardy said he gave the drugs to a man he knew only as "John" in Riviera Beach.
Buffett, 68, is best known for his songs "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and "Margaritaville."
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