McAuliffe said police were “right on it,” and the vehicle was “recovered immediately.”
Police said the vehicle was found parked and unoccupied on K Street NW, just west of North Capitol Street. The site is a little more than a half-mile from where the vehicle was parked initially.
It was not immediately clear who took the Explorer or why.
“Thank you for a job well done,” McAuliffe tweeted to D.C. police.
McAuliffe (D) was governor from 2014 to 2018.
A spokesman for the former governor said McAuliffe was on his way to a party connected to his new book, “Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism.”
According to the spokesman, Jake Rubenstein, the only thing that upset McAuliffe was that whoever took the car “didn’t think to grab a few copies” of the book.