Q: If they didn't catch me in the car how can they charge me with auto theft
They are going off what some body said but I never was in the vehicle
Like many questions posted in this and other web forums, this question is one best discussed privately with an attorney where the conversation is privileged.
With that said, all the government is required to do is present sufficient evidence to firmly convince the jury of all the elements of the crime charged. They don't have to catch you in the act or have any first-hand knowledge of any of the facts supporting the charge.
If law enforcement gathered enough witness statements and sufficient documentation to establish that a vehicle was owned by the alleged victim and that the vehicle was taken without authorization by the alleged victim, they only need evidence that you were the one who took it to file charges.
Keep in mind that they only need "probable cause" to file charges. If you didn't steal the vehicle, then you need to work with your attorney to win at trial where the burden is "beyond a reasonable doubt."
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