CHICAGO (CBS) — The bride wore white as an Iowa couple marched down the aisle as scheduled in Chicago Saturday, but it almost didn’t happen that way.

Chicago Police recovered their car, which had been stolen sometime late Thursday or early Friday — and then returned the car to the relieved couple seven hours before the 9:30 a.m. wedding took place.

“There were other belongings in the car, but when I called them, his first thing was, is there a dress in the trunk. He didn’t care about anything else in there, but they were getting married today,” said Harrison District Officer John McKenna.

The car had been stolen from the north side Lakeview neighborhood, but turned up in the wet side West Garfield Park neighborhood.

The officers said they became suspicious when they saw the Kia had a hard-plastic window, which indicated to them that it had either been burglarized or stolen. They ran the plate and found it had been stolen from the Urbandale, Ia., couple.

The immediately pulled over the driver, 38-year-old Milus Hendricks, whom Harrison District Lt. John Andrews described as a career criminal with 38 arrests for crimes ranging from aggravated battery to auto theft and nine convictions.

He was charged with possession of a stolen auto.

The officers started with an Iowa phone number, but were soon in touch with the couple. Hearing that the wedding was only hours off, they agreed to drive it to the hotel. Normally, when a stolen auto is recovered, the owner has to come to the police station, Andrews said.

Officer Paul Sandoval and McKenna said the couple told them that some items were missing from the car, which had in it suitcases and everything they planned to take to the wedding and their honeymoon. But apparently the thieves had not looked in the trunk, where the dress was found untouched.

Andrews said officers McKenna and Sandoval will be cited for a departmental commendation.

“This is some outstanding police work,” he said. “These guys are hard chargers.”

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