Craig Harris/Macon County Times A stolen car burns on the shoulder of Hwy. 52 in the Westside area of Macon County on May 7.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

A stolen car burns on the shoulder of Hwy. 52 in the Westside area of Macon County on May 7.

An abandoned car burned on the shoulder of Highway 52 in the Westside area of Macon County on May 7.

The vehicle -- a silver Mercury Cougar -- was left sitting on the side of the highway, headed east as the driver fled the scene.

The Westmoreland Volunteer Fire Department extinguished the blaze, which started at approximately 11:15 a.m.

However, the vehicle was reported stolen approximately an hour later, having been taken from an apartment complex less than a mile away from where it burned.

According to Macon County Sheriff's Department deputy Tim Freeman, the man who was driving the vehicle was allegedly looking at the vehicle at the apartment complex. The owner of the car did not believe that it was in running condition, so he gave the man -- who was interested in purchasing the car -- the keys to look at it.

The owner of the vehicle went into his apartment, and when he returned, the supposed buyer had driven away in the car.

It appears as if a faulty fuel pump may have resulted in the fire, which consumed the cab of the vehicle.

Once the car was on fire, the man pulled on to the shoulder of the roadway, exited the vehicle and ran away.

He is not currently in custody.