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Edmonton delivery driver falls victim to violent carjacking

Click to play video: 'Edmonton delivery driver has van stolen in violent carjacking' Edmonton delivery driver has van stolen in violent carjacking
WATCH ABOVE: An Edmonton delivery driver's routine shift turned into a nightmare Tuesday when he was beaten and had his van stolen while it was full of packages. Sarah Ryan has the details – Dec 9, 2021

A delivery driver from Edmonton saw his routine workday turn into a nightmare on Tuesday night when he was attacked and his van was stolen.

Jose Sanchez Rojas said he made his fifth delivery around midnight in the area of 108 Street and 132 Avenue and was just returning to his van when he was caught off guard.

“Suddenly, instead of closing, the door was wide open and somebody was there,” he explained.

“With something like a stick, you know? Hitting on my hands like a drum.”

Sanchez Rojas said the assailant then pulled him out of his own van, tossing him onto the road.

He said he had trouble getting up because of the ice and how badly his hands hurt, but he was determined to get his vehicle back.

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“I was just grabbing the handle of the door and the van got more speed and I went to the ground,” he recalled.

He tried to chase his stolen vehicle on foot, but only made it a few blocks before it took off.

Sanchez Rojas said when police arrived at the scene, they took him to the hospital for X-rays.

Thankfully, he didn’t suffer any broken bones, but his knuckles are black and blue and there are a few cuts and scrapes on his hands. He said they hurt so much that he couldn’t write out his own police statement.

The attack also impacted him mentally.

“I am very afraid,” he said.

Sanchez Rojas is hopeful someone might find his black 2010 Dodge Caravan, with Alberta licence plate CKD-9124.

This is the van that was stolen from Sanchez Rojas. Supplied

In it, he had three GPS systems to help him navigate the city and 83 packages he had yet to deliver.

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“I’m very concerned about my customers. I know that the boxes are very important for them,” Sanchez Rojas said.

READ MORE: Man carjacked Uber, crashed into fence at remand centre: Edmonton police

He’s been working as a delivery driver for the last seven years, having immigrated to Canada from Peru in 2008.

Sanchez Rojas said his family sought refuge in Canada after someone shot up his workplace back home.

Despite being highly educated and holding two degrees, he has been working odd jobs since immigrating and had found a love for delivery.

“I learned to get pride on doing something simple, but well-done,” he explained.

His route included customers from Red Deer north, and he hopes he can get back to work right away so he can provide for his family. But that will be difficult now that his van is gone.

“That’s life, no?” he said. “You fall to the ground. And as soon as you can stand up, that’s the best. Otherwise, you will suffer more.

“That’s why I am getting ready to start working again this weekend.”

He’s trying to fix up an old van but it needs a new bumper, and most importantly, good winter tires.

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READ MORE: Police seek ‘armed and dangerous’ suspect after southwest Edmonton carjacking

When asked about what advice he would give to other delivery drivers, Sanchez Rojas said not to fight back. He realizes things could have turned out much worse — he could have been run over.

“Stuff like a van and products, I believe that we can work on it and recover it anyway.”

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