Thief tangles with Calgary vehicle owner, comes out on losing end
A Calgary man is nursing some cuts and bruises but is happy to have his pickup truck back after a barefoot, wild ride with a thief.
Lyndon Sapach admits he wasn’t thinking when he chased the man he came out of his home to see driving away in his truck.
“There were a few points I was scared for my life,” he told Global News on Friday.
Wednesday morning, Sapach left his pickup idling outside his southwest Calgary apartment to warm up in the -30 C weather. He jumped up when he heard a noise.
“I went out on my balcony and saw it driving away and I didn’t think twice. I leapt over the balcony and managed to make my way over to the box [of the truck],” said Sapach.
In his bare feet, he landed on the roof of a car below his balcony, caught up with the pickup and jumped into the box.
He said the thief kept driving at high speeds through his neighbourhood of Sunalta, trying to force him out.
“He ran over a couple of snow banks and he was driving erratically trying to buck me. When it was getting serious, a few times I was holding on for dear life.”
Sapach said he hung on for over two kilometres from his house at 20 Street and 11 Avenue S.W. to 16 Street, then back down 10 Avenue to the exit onto Crowchild Trial, before he used a sandbag to break the back window and dive inside the cab.
“He still had his foot on the gas and my truck was driving erratically and were wrestling and he pulled a knife out on me,” Sapach said.
“I was able to reach over and unlock the door and open it and I kind of hooped him out and then slammed the door shut.”
He said he was yelling for help and witnesses called police, but officers couldn’t find the thief after a search.
Acting Staff Sgt. Lon Brewster said police don’t want people trying to catch thieves on their own for safety reasons.
“I get the emotional response to it, but the best thing to do is just call 911. It’s a crime-in-progress. We can see people put themselves in harm’s way and really get injured for what’s essentially some property.”
Sapach said looking back, he sees his actions were reckless.
“I would never recommend anyone doing anything like that, but I wasn’t thinking.”
He said the next time he has to warm up his pickup, he’ll be sitting in the cab with the keys.
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