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Man steals tow truck in downtown Vancouver, nearly crashes into flower stand owner

A tow truck sits stopped in downtown Vancouver after smashing into a nearby flower stand on Feb. 13, 2020.
A tow truck sits stopped in downtown Vancouver after smashing into a nearby flower stand on Feb. 13, 2020. Global News

A Vancouver flower stand owner narrowly avoided injury after a stolen tow truck crashed right next to his business in the downtown core Thursday afternoon.

Vancouver police say a 41-year-old man jumped into a BCAA tow truck while the operator was hooking up another person’s vehicle on Granville Street near Smithe Street.

The man then tried to drive away with the stolen truck while the vehicle was being towed behind it, but quickly crashed into a Mobi bike share station, police said.

READ MORE: Driver arrested, 2,500 lose power after U-Haul takes down hydro pole in Surrey

The crash also took down a large metal Mobi signboard, which nearly missed Nahed Shamoun as he was selling Valentine’s Day flowers on the sidewalk.

“I was standing right there,” he said while pointing close to where the tow truck ended up, “helping two young ladies get some flowers. And then I heard, ‘boom!'”

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Shamoun said the driver then fled towards Granville Street while the BCAA worker stopped the truck before it could continue towards the flower stand.

READ MORE: Stolen car crashes into parked vehicle in Kelowna, and it’s all caught on video

Shamoun was not injured, but said it was too close for comfort.

“I was like, ‘Is this real?'” he said. “The big sign fell right next to me.

“It’s scary. I was so lucky.”

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Police say the man was arrested by officers near the crash scene and charges are being recommended.

READ MORE: Man arrested after allegedly carjacking pregnant woman’s car, causing multi-vehicle crash

The suspect was also treated in hospital for non-life threatening injuries before being taken to jail.

Shamoun said being a witness to the crime was shocking.

“We don’t need to see this in great Vancouver city, to have these kinds of things,” he said.

“We’re all fine, no one’s hurt and these things can be replaced, but we don’t want bad guys doing this.”

Man accused of stealing truck, causing life-threatening crash and fleeing on foot in Kelowna
Man accused of stealing truck, causing life-threatening crash and fleeing on foot in Kelowna