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.
“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.
“I am still having the trauma.”
Sanchez Rojas is hopeful someone might find his black 2010 Dodge Caravan, with Alberta licence plate CKD-9124.
In it, he had three GPS systems to help him navigate the city and 83 packages he had yet to deliver.
“I’m very concerned about my customers. I know that the boxes are very important for them,” Sanchez Rojas said.
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.
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.
“I am glad that I am still alive and still have a job,” he said.
“Stuff like a van and products, I believe that we can work on it and recover it anyway.”