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Cops: Wis. man busted for 150-mile test drive

MADISON, Wis. – One Wisconsin man’s idea of a test drive didn’t sit well with a Madison dealer after the 47-year-old motorist took the car on a 150-mile trip around Milwaukee – and didn’t bring it back, police said on Thursday.

“The driver maintained that ‘You just don't take it for a 15-minute test drive’,” Madison Police Officer Howard Payne said. “In my opinion, his explanation was not reasonable … because he did not bring it back.”

Madison police arrested Robert E. Clark on a charge of operating a motor vehicle with consent of owner on Dec. 30, Payne said.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel was first to report the story

The dealer, A to Z Auto in Madison, called police after the man failed to return the silver 2000 Nissan Altima he picked for a test drive, Payne said.

What happened in this case was the dealer was interrupted by customers and was unable to accompany Clark on the drive, Payne said.

“From our standpoint, we don’t get involved in an agreement with two parties,” Payne said. “But off course, this person did not have consent to do what he did.”

Police said Clark drove the car to Milwaukee and returned to his home and not the dealership, both in Madison. His "test" drive was about 150 miles, Payne said.

Clark told officers that he took the Nissan to Milwaukee to secure funds to actually pay for the car, and did have every intention of returning the vehicle the following day, according to the police report released Thursday.

But, police got to him first and spotted the Nissan parked outside his home.

Telephone messages left by msnbc.com at the dealership were not returned Thursday. Two phone listings for Clark had been disconnected; he could not be reached for comment.

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