updated 3/30/2006 4:14:49 AM ET 2006-03-30T09:14:49

Don't leave in your home without her.

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Regina Vogt says she was really surprised to walk outside a Socorro Wal-Mart and discover the motor home she and her husband arrived in was gone.

Lloyd Vogt says he drove off, thinking she was sleeping in the back.

The retirees had stopped at the Wal-Mart while driving through New Mexico last week on their way home to Rochester, Minn.

She came out of the motor home's restroom and when she didn't spot her husband, figured he was behind the 39-foot vehicle fiddling with something.

He, in turn, looked around and didn't see his wife, and figured she was napping.

Both of them went into the vast super center to browse and never ran into each other. When Vogt left the store before his wife did, he hit the road for Tucumcari, thoughtfully letting her sleep in.

About 10 minutes later, she walked out of the store to find the motor home gone.

She sat down on a bench by the door, where a store greeter, Patricia Montoya, noticed her and asked if she was all right.

The police officers who were called first checked around Socorro, hoping Vogt, 80, was still in town.

Meanwhile, store employees settled Regina Vogt, 77, at the snack bar, where assistant manager Karen Delgai checked on her frequently.

"She was so nice. She was so calm," Delgai said.

Let’s go to the videotape
As the day wore on and Vogt didn't show up, police decided to review store security tapes to make sure nothing had happened to him. Instead, the tapes showed him walking out, getting into the motor home and driving away.

When night fell, Delgai bought Regina Vogt a nightgown, toothbrush and toiletries and offered to get her a room at a motel. Socorro police Sgt. Mike Winders and his wife offered to have her stay at their home.

"I'm telling you, they really treated me nice in there," Regina Vogt said.

State police had been alerted to watch for the motor home, and officers in Tucumcari spotted it that evening, out of fuel on a side street. A snowstorm and a backup of tractor-trailers had made diesel fuel hard to come by in the eastern New Mexico community.

Winders and Wal-Mart workers volunteered to drive Regina Vogt to Tucumcari.

But the state police stepped in and arranged a three-car relay for the trip.

The first leg was taken by state police Officer Carlos Antunez, who drove Regina Vogt to the edge of his district. There she was transferred to another officer, who drove to the end of his district and turned her over to the third officer, who took her to Tucumcari and her husband.

To Tucumcari at 90 mph
Antunez won her heart by turning on his flashing lights and flooring it.

"He can go 90 mph because he's a policeman," Regina Vogt said. "He was a good driver. It was fun."

Vogt greeted his wife with, "Hi. You don't know how surprised I was when I went back to the bedroom and you weren't there."

The couple's son and son-in-law drove to Tucumcari the next day and brought them and the motor home back to Minnesota.

Regina Vogt said she's not upset with her husband.

"It's no use to be angry," she said. "It was just a misunderstanding. We're going to be married 59 years (in June) so we know each other pretty good."

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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