CALGARY — Auto theft in Calgary is a huge challenge for Calgary police. Statistics show a 50 percent increase in hot cars this year over last.
So it’s easy to understand how an incident around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, all caught on surveillance video, has become the water cooler chatter at the District One police station.
“The info we had is a vehicle had just been taken with the keys inside and the victim had actually run after the vehicle as it initially sped away, ” said Cst. Steve Taekema.
Taekema and his partner Cst. Phil Andres were the first to spring into action after the report of the stolen vehicle less than a kilometer away.
But as quickly as the pair left to track the thief, the car was spotted driving past the very district office they had just left.
This is where the story gets interesting. Seconds later, the offender turned around, and pulled into the police station.
“He literally fell right into our lap. Just that easy,” said Cst. Andres.
CCTV video shows it all unfold. The stolen car pulls into the lot and the offender nonchalantly walks away. But he was being watched.
“So I guess astute members, they were watching through the window, hearing that [the vehicle] was going past the district office and sure enough a couple saw him come in and thought, ‘hmm that must be our guy,'” Andres explained.
The seemingly remorseful 42-year-old thief was quickly taken into custody, charged with theft of a motor vehicle, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
“I’d think he’d like to believe he had a crisis of conscience after he’d stolen this vehicle but hard to say he wouldn’t tell us exactly why,” said Andres.
He laughed while describing the scenario, “This one was the fastest I’ve ever seen… nice and easy one minute start to finish.
“We can all agree we’ve never seen anything like this before and he certainly made our jobs a lot easier.”
Calgary police remind drivers not to leave the keys in their vehicles.
WATCH BELOW: Calgary police release footage of a suspect ditching a stolen vehicle in a Calgary police station parking lot.
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.